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Event Reports

2018 JET Returnees Welcome Reception

On Friday 26 October, Consul-General Matsunaga hosted a reception to welcome recently returned JET Programme participants at his residence. Mrs Inga Peulich MLC, Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Member of the Victorian Parliamentary Friends of Japan gave a speech to welcome the recently returned JETs. Other guests included representatives from the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR) in Sydney and the Australia Japan Society of Victoria respectively, Japanese lecturers/teachers, former JET Programme participants, and business representatives from the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Melbourne.

The Japanese Language Speech Contest in Victoria 2018

On Sunday 9 September, Consul-General Matsunaga attended the Victorian Final of the 49th Japanese Language Speech Contest held at the University of Melbourne. An audience of over 200 people watched the 54 contestants speak about unique aspects of Japanese society and culture.

The National Final was held on Saturday 6 October 2018 at the Japan Foundation in Sydney, where the 1st prize winners of the high school division and the open division contests competed.
The Consul-General High School Division Contestants
Open Division Contestants Open Division Winner
Photos: Katsuyoshi Yabe

Click the preview image above to read the full list of prize winners.

Ceremony to present the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation to Ms Lesley Kehoe

On 22 August 2018, Consul-General Matsunaga hosted a ceremony at his residence to award Ms Lesley Kehoe with the Japanese Foreign Minister's Commendation for her significant contribution in promoting Japanese culture in Australia. Ms Kehoe was presented with a certificate of commendation and an accompanied gift from the Foreign Minister, Mr Taro Kono. Ms Kehoe was joined by her family members and close friends at the ceremony, and in her speech thanked to them and local communiteis for their long-term and continued support to her.

The 2018 JET Farewell Reception

On 23 July, Consul-General Matsunaga hosted a reception to farewell 35 departing JET Programme participants from Victoria at his official residence. The reception was attended by The Hon Colin Brooks MP, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly; Mr Noboru Katsu, President of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Melbourne (JCCIM); and Mr Hirotomo Akaiwa, Director of the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations in Sydney. Other guests included former JET Programme participants, Japanese teachers and lecturers, school principals, journalists and business representatives from the JCCIM who have connections to the new JET participants' destinations.

The 2018 JET Programme participants will depart on 28 July to commence their one-year contracts as Assistant Language Teachers or Coordinators for International Relations in Japan. This year, a total of 48 new JET participants will join in the Programme from Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.

For information on the JET Programme, please visit the JET Programme website.

Conferral Ceremony of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette for Mr Sidney Baillieu Myer AC

On 15 June 2018, Consul-General Matsunaga hosted a ceremony to celebrate the conferral of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette upon Mr Sidney Baillieu Myer AC at his residence.

The Decoration has been conferred on 29 April by His Majesty the Emperor in recognition of Mr Myer’s significant contribution to introducing Japanese art in Australia, fostering both Japanese and Australian artists, and promoting the mutual understanding between Japan and Australia for many decades.

Many of Mr Myer's family members and close friends attended the ceremony and celebrated the conferral of the Decoration on him.

Inauguration reception for Ms. Kim Clifford, Honorary Consul-General of Japan in Hobart

On May 31st 2018, Consul-General Matsunaga held an inauguration reception for the Honorary Consul-General of Japan in Hobart, Ms. Kim Clifford.

Upon officially receiving the confirmation letter from Consul-General Matsunaga, Ms. Clifford gave an inspiring speech about how she will undertake this role.

Also celebrating Ms. Clifford’s appointment was The Hon. Jim Wilkinson, President of the Tasmanian Legislative Council, and Mr. Peter Shelley AO, former Honorary Consul-General of Japan in Hobart.

Japan Festival 2018

On Sunday the 20th of May, the annual Japan Festival organised by the Japan Club of Victoria (JCV) was held at Box Hill Town Hall. Despite the bad weather, the atmosphere was festive, and approximately 4000 people attended the festival.

The Consulate-General of Japan also had information booth where we provided consular services such as overseas voting registration for Japanese nationals in Australia. We also had three video clips from KUMAMON in Australia playing at the booth, which was yet to be made available to the general public at the time.

Commemorating the 47th Anniversary of Whitehorse-Matsudo Sister City

On Friday the 11th May, the Consul-General Kazuyoshi Matsunaga attended a ceremony celebrating the 47th year of the sister city relationship between the City of Matsudo and the City of Whitehorse, and Matsudo Green Tree Day. The ceremony was attended by Cr Andrew Davenport, Mayor of City of Whitehorse, and many others who were instrumental in maintaining the sister-city relationship. At the ceremony, Consul-General Matsunaga congratulated and thanked Matsudo and Whitehorse for their dedication to maintaining this sister-city relationship over the past 47 years.

There was also a tree planting session with Cr Davenport, which is an annual Matsudo Green Tree Day tradition. After the tree planting ceremony, Consul-General Matsunaga and Cr Davenport held a video chat conversation with the Mayor of Matsudo City, Mr Kenji Hongoya.

"Japan's approach to a changing world" by Assistant Professor Nobuhiro Aizawa

On 28 February 2018, the Consulate-General of Japan in partnership with La Trobe University hosted a public seminar on Japanese geopolitics and international relations in the current uncertain world at the State Library of Victoria.

Associate Professor Nobuhiro Aizawa from Kyushu University, in conversation with Professor Nick Bisley, Executive Director of La Trobe Asia, explained among other things, Japan's relationship with China and the United States in the Asia-Pacific context, international trade and commerce, and North Korea's nuclear problem. The seminar attracted more than 100 audiences.

Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival

On Sunday 25 February, the 2018 Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival was held at Federation Square in Melbourne. Kumamon was a special guest to the event, which attracted a crowd of around 35,000.

Consul-General Matsunaga made an opening address at the festival in which he highlighted ethnic diversity in Australia compared to Japan as over 25% of Australian residents were born overseas. However, he said Japan does have a great diversity of culture and encouraged the attendees to enjoy all the culture on display at the event. The festival attendees enjoyed performances of taiko, shamisen, Okinawan music, and Japanese traditional dance, as well as J-Pop dance, kendo demonstration, and Japanese food and culture at festival stalls. Lots of festival attendees, including Kumamon, participated in Bon Odori, a traditional Japanese summer festival dance. Our consular information booth was set up at the festival venue to provide services including applications for residence and electoral registration for Japanese overseas residents.

Dinner for Aichi Prefecture parliamentarians

On Sunday 11 February, Consul-General Matsunaga hosted a dinner at his official residence for a parliamentary delegation from Aichi Prefecture, Victoria’s sister state. The delegation was led by Mr Osamu Mineno, Vice Chairperson of the Aichi Prefecture Assembly. In attendance from the Parliament of Victoria were the Hon. Bruce Atkinson MLC, President of the Legislative Council, and the Hon. Colin Brooks MP, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. Also present were mayors and a deputy mayor of local governments with sister cities in Aichi, such as Hobsons Bay (sister cities with Anjo), Macedon Ranges (sister cities with Tokai), Wyndham (sister cities with Chiryu); representatives from universities which conduct academic and student exchanges with Aichi; and people from the business sector with links to Aichi.

This year is the 37th anniversary of Aichi and Victoria’s sister state relationship. The Aichi delegation visited on the invitation of the State of Victoria.

2017 Event Archive


2016 Event Archive