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Hiroba Newsletter

CONSULATE-GENERAL OF JAPAN 
PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

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@*Hiroba is Japanese for an open space or public square

January 2011 Edition

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

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Consul-General Mr Satofs New Year Message

Consul-General SatoI wish you all a happy new year.

Looking back over the past year, some important things have occurred between Japan and Western Australia. On the political front, followed by a visit by the then Japanese Foreign Minister Mr Nakasone in May 2009, the former Foreign Minister Mr Okada made a visit to Perth in February and had bilateral talks with the then Australian Foreign Minister, the Hon Stephen Smith, as well as talks with Premier of Western Australia, the Hon Colin Barnett. In addition to this, the State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Mr Yutaka Banno, paid a visit to Perth in mid-December to have talks with the Minister for Mines and Petroleum; Fisheries and Electoral Affairs, the Hon Norman Moore as well as Premier Colin Barnett.
On the Western Australian side, in April, a delegation led by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, the Hon Grant Woodhams, visited Japan and made a courtesy call on the Vice-Speaker of the House of Representative, Mr Eto as well as touring Hyogo Prefecture to meet the governor of Hyogo and the Chairman of the prefectural assembly and to visit Kobe University. I believe that this series of talks with politicians have contributed greatly to reinforcing the relationship between Japan and Western Australia.

Amid the resurgence of the global resources boom, securing a long-term, steady supply of vital resources is becoming increasingly important to Japan. It is anticipated that Western Australia, which has been an important source of Japanfs resources and energy such as iron ore and LNG as well as food supply such as wheat for many years, will also play a significant role for the Japanese economy well into the future.
In highlighting this, it can be seen that presently the relationship between Western Australia and Japan, being centered on these various economic facets, is progressing smoothly. Rather than taking the situation for granted however, in consideration of the importance of the relationship with Western Australia, the Consulate-General of Japan in Perth continues to make necessary efforts towards further strengthening the economic relationship via trade and investment into the future.

There are currently nine sister-city agreements between cities in Japan and Western Australia, as well as a sister-state agreement between Hyogo Prefecture and the state of Western Australia, and active exchanges have been seen in all of them. Last year, a friendship agreement between the City of Albany and Nichinan City was struck at a commemorative ceremony in November for the 10th anniversary of the sister-port relationship between the Port of Albany and the Port of Aburatsu, located in Nichinan City, Miyazaki Prefecture. Moreover, 2011 will be the 30th anniversary of the sister-state relationship between the State of Western Australia and Hyogo Prefecture and also the sister-city relationship between the Shire of Broome and Taiji Town in Wakayama Prefecture. The role played by these international exchange activities on the level of local and state governments is significant, and on the occasion of these historical milestones, these sister-state and sister-cities exchanges are expected to play a major part in contributing to the promotion of mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and Western Australia.

In order to make the basis of the Japan-Western Australia relationship as a whole as solid as a rock, it takes not only the exchanging of things, but also the exchanging of hearts and minds. It is needless to say that as well as strengthening the economic relationship, it will also be vital to continue to promote and reinforce cultural and interpersonal exchange.

Taking an understanding of the ideas such as the above into account, in addition to maintaining and improving administrative services in the area of consular affairs, and  providing support to the Japanese business community, the Consulate-General of Japan in Perth will continue to make efforts toward expansion and reinforcement of various exchanges, including economic, cultural and interpersonal exchanges, in order to promote further development of the relationship between Japan and Western Australia.

Finally, I sincerely wish all of you the best of health and happiness for the coming year.

 

New Year Sumo

 

The New Year sumo tournament (Jan 9th – 23rd at Tokyofs Ryogoku Kokugikan) sees yokozuna Hakuho aiming for his 18th Emperorfs Cup, and after a phenomenal 2010, odds are he will take the cup this tournament too. In 2010 Hakuho won 86 out of 90 bouts (equaling his record set in 2009), became the first wrestler ever to win four consecutive tournaments with perfect 15-0 records, and came just six wins shy of matching yokozuna legend Futabayamafs all-time consecutive wins streak of 69, a record that has been in place since 1939.

Hakuho is just the 69th yokozuna in sumo history, with the first yokozuna acknowledged to be Akashi Shiganosuke, who wrestled in the first half of the 17th century. According to sumo folklore, he became a star in the 1620s and his popularity led to sumo organisers charging for admission to watch bouts for the first time.

 

The current standard applied by the Yokozuna Deliberation Council in determining whether a wrestler is fit to become a yokozuna is usually consecutive tournament victories at the second rank of ozeki, although there have been exceptions. In addition to recent performance in the ring or dohyo, also important is something called hinkaku, a word meaning dignity or grace, and basically the wrestler must be a man of character worthy to hold such an exalted position. 68th yokozuna Asashoryu, who retired from sumo in February 2010, was questioned with regard to this due to several incidents out of the ring, and was even suspended for two tournaments in 2007. It was the first time in sumo history a yokozuna had been suspended from the sport.

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Wrestlers lift their legs high into the air before stamping them down on the ground, symbolically driving evil from the dohyo.

 

 

Coming of Age Day

 

Coming of Age Day, or Seijin no Hi, is a public holiday in Japan held on the second Monday of January to congratulate and encourage all those who have turned 20 years old, or who will turn 20, during the current year (which runs from April to March in Japan.) 20 is the age considered the beginning of adulthood in Japan and legally they also become adults. It is the minimum age for drinking, smoking and voting.

 

Coming of Age ceremonies are often held on the public holiday or the Sunday before at local government offices, and officials give speeches. Many young women who have or are turning 20 wear furisode – a kimono with long sleeves that drape down – and fluffy scarves, while many men wear suits or hakama – a dark traditional kimono for men. Womenfs kimono are not easy to put on alone and so women enlist the help of family or go to beauty salons where they can have their hair and make-up done as well.

 

After the ceremony the gnew adultsh go out with family and friends, taking pictures and enjoying the special occasion.

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Two young women in furisode look forward to their futures.

 

Upcoming Events

 

gLes Frères in concerth (Japanese Jazz Piano Concert)

 

The Japan Foundation (Sydney) presents Les Frères in concert, with the Japanese piano duo coming to play in Australia for the first time in March. The group was formed by brothers Moriya and Keito Saito in 2002, and the pair play on the same piano simultaneously to produce music loved not only by classical music lovers but also wider audiences.

 

Les Frères are scheduled to hold a concert in Perth on March 12th as part of their tour around Australia. Further information can be found at the following link.

http://www.jpf.org.au/02_events/11-resfreres/index.html

 

Consulate-General News

2nd Semester Ikebana Completion Ceremony

On Wednesday, December 15th 2010, the completion ceremony for the 2nd semester of ikebana (flower arrangement) lessons was held at the Consulate-General of Japan in Perth, which supported the ikebana course.

Students were presented with certificates in recognition of their achievement in completing 15 lessons of ikebana over the 2nd semester, under the attentive and experienced instruction of Japanese ikebana teacher, Mrs Akiko Chester. Mr Emmanuel Savundra, committee member of the Australia Japan Society of Western Australia, and Consul-General Mr Sato presented each student with a certificate of completion.

The ceremony followed the final ikebana lesson for the 2nd semester course, which was conducted by the Australia-Japan Society of WA. Students and their family and friends enjoyed seeing each studentfs beautiful ikebana arrangements together.

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A few examples of the ikebana arranged by the class.

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.

Prime Minister Kan Outlines Basic Policies in New Yearfs Press Conference

Japanfs Major Newspapers Explore Ways to Rejuvenate Japan in New Yearfs Day Editorials

Office Information  

Please note the Consulate-General will be closed on the following day:

Wednesday January 26: Australia Day

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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