Hiroba Newsletter



 *Hiroba is the Japanese word meaning an open space or public square 

August 2009 Edition

Website of the Consulate-General of Japan, Perth WA : http://www.perth.au.emb-japan.go.jp/

Obon festival
The Obon festival, a Buddhist event held in Japan for three days around 13-15 August, honours the souls of one's deceased ancestors. People often return to their home towns to visit and clean their family graves, and to pray and make offerings of fruit and vegetables.

A traditional dance of joy known as Bon-Odori, is danced to show appreciation for ancestors and the sacrifices they made. A light, summer kimono, called a yukata, is usually worn by dancers, as this festival occurs during the stifling heat of summer.

Finally, to close the festivities of Obon, people float bamboo or paper lanterns down rivers and oceans to symbolize sending off the spirits of one's ancestors.


Consulate-General News

2009 JET Pre-departure Reception

On the evening of Friday 17th July 2009, the 2009 JET Pre-departure Reception was held at the residence of the Consul-General of Japan. A large crowd of 85 people attended, to wish the 12 participants well for their coming assignment in Japan as Assistant Language Teachers for the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme.

Outgoing JET Programme participants

Please Note:

2010 JET Programme Applications

The application period for the 2010 round of the JET Programme opens in late September 2009 . From October 2009, application packages will be available here at our Consulate-General, or they can be downloaded from the Embassy of Japan in Canberra website, with the application period closing in December 2009. Successful applicants for the 2010 Programme depart for Japan in August 2010.

Further details of the Programme can be obtained from the Embassy of Japan in Australia (Canberra) website, below:



School Visit to Lake Joondalup Baptist College

On Friday 23rd July 2009, Information and Cultural Section staff members of the Consulate-General of Japan visited year 9 students at Lake Joondalup Baptist College. 

A presentation was given to the year 9 Japanese language students on the benefits of studying the Japanese language and how doing this can lead to a variety of rewarding careers. The students were then able to experience some hands-on Japanese culture, in the form of origami and kendama.

Completion Ceremony of 1st Semester Ikebana Lessons

On Wednesday 15th July 2009, the completion ceremony for 1st semester of ikebana lessons was held in the Multi-Purpose Room of the Consulate-General of Japan at Perth, which supports the ikebana course.

Students were  presented with certificates in recognition of their achievement in completing 15 lessons of ikebana over the 1st semester, under the attentive and experienced instruction of Japanese ikebana teacher, Mrs Akiko Chester. 

The ceremony followed the final ikebana lesson for the 1st semester course, which was conducted by the Australia-Japan Society of WA.

Mrs Akiko Chester (centre), surrounded by her students

Please Note:

2nd Semester Ikebana Course 

Free Demonstration: Wednesday 26th August, 10:30- 11:30am

2nd Semester Classes: Every Wednesday for 15 weeks from 2nd September - 9th December

                                        Beginners Class: 10:30am- 12noon

                                        Intermediate/ Advanced Class: 12:30- 2:00pm


For further information about 2nd Semester classes, please contact Mike of the Australia-Japan Society of WA on: (08) 9446 3321


Reopening of the Hyogo Prefectural Government Cultural Centre 

The official reopening of the Hyogo Prefectural Government Cultural Centre was held on Wednesday 5th August 2009. The ceremony was attended by many people including Mr Tomio Saito (Deputy Governor of Hyogo Prefecture), Mr Masahiro Ogawa (Centre Advisor), Hon. Colin Barnett MLA (Premier of Western Australia), Hon. Eric Ripper MLA (leader of the Labor Party in WA), Hon. Barry House MLC (President of the Legislative Council in WA) and Mr Torao Sato (Consul-General of Japan).

The new Centre is located on the same premises as the Japanese School in Perth. Below are the details of the new Centre:

Address: 20 Kalinda Drive, CITY BEACH  WA  6015

Tel: (08) 9385 9002

Fax: (08) 9385 9005

Mr Akio Kawanabe has taken over the position of Director from Mr Masa Ogawa, who has become an advisor at the Centre.


Book Launch

The much anticipated launch of the book, An Enduring Friendship Western Australia and Japan- Past, Present and Future, was held at the Parliament of Western Australia on the evening of 18th August 2009

The launch ceremony, which was organized by the State Parliament, was attended by a large number of people including WA Premier Hon. Colin Barnett MLA, President of the Legislative Council in WA Hon. Barry House MLC, Consul-General of Japan Mr Torao Sato, members of Parliament, as well as contributors and sponsors of the book. The Premier and the Consul-General both gave congratulatory speeches.

This book maps the history of the relationship between Japan and Western Australia, which spans more than 100 years. The book includes entries from over thirteen writers and was edited by Emeritus Professor and Parliamentary Fellow David Black and Dr Sachiko Sone.

The book is the result of a collaboration between the University of Western Australia and the Parliament of Western Australia, and was sponsored by Mitsubishi Corporation, Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, WA Chamber of Minerals and Energy and the Parliament of Western Australia.


2009 Future Business Counterparts Australia – Japan

The Invitation Program for Future Business Counterparts from Australia is an invitation program, through which young professionals from Australia, who will assume greater responsibilities in the coming years and are interested in strengthening economic relations with Japan, would visit and experience Japan and its society, culture, as well as its people. The aim of this unique program is to invite young professionals from Australia to increase their understanding of Japan through lectures on Japan's business trends, its major industries, the bilateral relationship, and through discussions with young Japanese professionals.

On 22nd October, 2007, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda of Japan announced the idea for this program in his address at the 45th Japan-Australia Joint Business Conference by stating:-"It is important to nurture young generations who will support the future of our relationship. From this perspective, the Government of Japan will start from next year to invite to Japan about fifty young professionals, mainly from the business community, who we hope will uphold our future partnership, thereby promoting mutual understanding."

This year 50 individuals Australia-wide were selected to attend this program. The Perth contingent was made up of 10 people from a wide range of professions, comprising of Lawyers, Accountants and others from the Energy and Resources sector. The program offered a good mixture of business insight and cultural exchange over a 10 day period from 23rd June until 4th July 2009. Some of the businesses that were visited were The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, JETRO (Japanese External Trade Organization) and the Australian Embassy.

The program is scheduled to run over a 5 year period with this year being the 2nd year of the program. For more details on the program refer to the link below:



Upcoming Events


27th Australia-Japan Relations Essay Contest 2009 

If you missed out on entering last year's essay contest for secondary school students in Australia, this year's essay contest provides another opportunity for you to showcase your writing skills and at the same time, to deepen your understanding of Japan... and, you could win $300 worth of books or a trip to Japan!!!

Details of this year's essay contest are as follows:

Aim: To encourage and develop a better understanding of Japan, and Australia-Japan relations, amongst Australian students.

Entry Divisions & Essay Topics:

  • Junior A Division (years 7-8) - If you could meet a famous Japanese person, who would you choose and why? In what way has he/she contributed to Japanese society?

  • Junior B Division (years 9-10) - Doraemon, a popular Japanese anime character, was recently chosen as a cultural ambassador for Japan. What popular icon could effectively represent Australia and why? How could this icon be used to promote Australia among Japanese youth?

  • Senior Division (years 11-12) - Japan, like Australia, is geographically isolated from its neighbours. Do you think this is reflected in traditional Japanese culture and thinking, and why/ why not?

Closing Date:  Friday 11 September 2009

Teachers are most welcome to use this contest as a class assignment, perhaps when exploring the topic of Japan in Society & Environment classes.

Western Australian entries should be sent to the Consulate-General of Japan at Perth by the above due date.

For further details of this essay contest, organised by the Embassy of Japan and Consulates-General of Japan in Australia, please go to www.au.emb-japan.go.jp 


Introducing New Staff Members in the Information and Culture Section

We would like to introduce you to three new staff members of the Information and Culture Section here at the Consulate-General of Japan in Perth.

Head of the Information and Culture Section

Ms Sachiyo Matsuyama (Consul) who commenced employment here at the Consulate-General on 16th April 2009, was seconded from the Ministry of Defense, where she has experience as a liaison officer for the Japanese Self-Defense Force at the Japanese Embassy in Israel.

Local staff Assistants to the Head of Section

Ms Kate McKenna who joined the Consulate-General on 9th March 2009, has experience as an international relations advisor in Tokyo and as a Japanese language teacher in Perth.

Ms Akiko Yorimitsu who joined the Consulate-General on 3rd August 2009, has experience in the tourism industry, as a Japanese language teacher in Perth and as an English language teacher in Japan.

The above staff members can be contacted on the following email address:



Japan Brief

NB - Japan Brief is an original production of the Foreign Press Center, Japan ,and does not represent the views of the Government of Japan or that of any other body

First Ruling Delivered Under Newly Introduced Lay Judge System

Hiroshima Marks 64th Anniversary of A-Bombing,
Issues Peace Declaration

LDP Unveils Party Manifesto for General Election

White Paper Says Japan’s Economy Has Hit Bottom,
But Unemployment Remains Major Risk


Office Information  

Opening Hours

Monday - Friday
General Enquiries: 9:00am - 1:00pm
2:00pm - 5:00pm
Visa Enquiries: 9:00am - 12:30pm
2:00pm - 4:00pm

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© 1999-2009 Consulate-General of Japan in Perth, Western Australia