Hiroba Newsletter



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

September 2011 Edition

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



Respect-for-the-Aged Day

Every September, the people of Japan honour their elderly citizens on a public holiday called Keiro no Hi, or Respect for the Aged Day. It has been a national public holiday since 1966 and used to be observed on September 15, until the government implemented the "Happy Monday System" in which several public holidays were moved to Mondays to create long weekends. Respect for the Aged Day has been held on the third Monday of September since 2003, and this year it will be celebrated on September 19.

On this special day in Japan, people show respect to long-time contributors to society and celebrate their longevity. Many local governments hold ceremonies to honour the elderly, present them with commemorative gifts, and sponsor other local events.

The media reports on the population and highlights the oldest people in the country. The average life expectancy for Japanese women has been the highest in the world for the last quarter of a century, with last yearfs average being 86.39 years. The average life expectancy for Japanese men in 2010 was 79.64 years, ranking them fourth highest in the world. Healthy diets, high living standards and easy access to healthcare are some of the factors cited as contributing to these high figures.

People aged 65 or over in Japan now account for some 23 percent of the countryfs total population - the highest ratio in the world – and this is projected to reach around 40 percent by 2050, which will have a major impact in all areas of society.



2011 Japanese Language Proficiency Test

Applications to take the 2011 Japanese Language Proficiency Test here in Perth opened on Monday, August 1, and will close on Friday, September 9. The test, which is commonly used by employers in Japan and around the world as a measure of a non-nativefs Japanese language ability, will be conducted at Curtin University on Sunday, December 4.

For application forms and more details please check the following link. http://humanities.curtin.edu.au/schools/SSAL/asian_languages/jlpt.cfm

 The official worldwide Japanese Language Proficiency Test website, operated by the Japan Foundation and Japan Educational Exchanges and Services, can be seen here. http://www.jlpt.jp/e/index.html


14th Nihongo Summit gPeace – Kizuna for One Worldh

Organised and sponsored by non-profit organisation The Japan Return Program, the Nihongo Summit invites young students of the Japanese language to Japan for just over a month to participate in panel discussions, do a homestay and take part in other cultural experiences. The theme for the 14th Nihongo Summit is gPeace – Kizuna for One Worldh. Essays in Japanese are due by Monday, October 31, and more details can be found at the following link. http://www.nihongo.or.jp/pdf/call_for_english.pdf


Twenty-Ninth Australia-Japan Relations Essay Contest

Conducted by the Embassy of Japan and Consulates-General of Japan in Australia, this annual contest for students between Years 7 and 12 is also now open for applications. Students are to answer an essay question on Japan or Japan-Australia relations, with the first prize winners receiving a round trip ticket to Japan or other prizes. Applications close Friday, September 9. More details can be found at the Embassy of Japan webpage: http://www.au.emb-japan.go.jp/e-web/education_essay.html


JLPP International Translation Competition

The Japanese Literature Publishing Project (JLPP) has launched its inaugural International Translation Competition with a view to discovering translators who can help spread modern Japanese literature throughout the world. Applicants are to translate two works – one novel and one critique/essay. The application period runs from September 1 to November 30, and more details can be found at the following link.http://www.jlpp.go.jp/en/competition/index.html


Video Matsuri Contest 2011 and the Art Speaks Japanese Comes Alive! Contest 2011

The Japan Foundation presents its Video Matsuri Contest 2011 and Art Speaks Japanese Comes Alive! Contest 2011. In the video contest, students are to produce a short film of up to three minutes. There are no restrictions on theme or style but all videos must include some Japanese language. In the art contest, students become familiar with a resource kit called Art Speaks Japanese, and create their own artwork based on that, again including some Japanese language. Entries for both contests close on September 30. More information on the video contest can be found at http://www.video-matsuri.jpf-sydney.net/ and information on the art contest (including past winners and photo galleries) at http://artalive.jpf-sydney.net/index.html.


Consulate-General News

Visit to Shenton College by Japanese students from Akishima City in Tokyo

The student exchange between Shenton College and junior high schools in Akishima City which is held by the Akishima City Board of Education in Tokyo began last year and was held again this year. Japanese students from Akishima City were in Perth for just over a week as part of the international exchange program. During their visit Consul-General Ishikawa was invited to Shenton College and spoke to the students about his career as a diplomat and his experiences abroad. As part of his advice to the Japanese students he emphasised how effective a smile can be for international relations and friendships. The junior high school students from Japan then spent a handful of days attending Shenton College, went on a day trip out to the Pinnacles, and spent a weekend with their host families taking in various Perth sights.

Consul-General Tatsuo Ishikawa addresses students from Akishima City as well as Shenton College students.


Tree Planting Ceremony Commemorating Hiroshima Day

A tree Planting Ceremony Commemorating Hiroshima Dayh was held in the City of Cockburn on August 5 and attended by Consul Sachiyo Matsuyama from the Consulate-General of Japan in Perth. The annual event organised by the City of Cockburn is held to convey the horrors of nuclear weapons and the importance of peace to future generations. Mayor Logan Howlett and Consul Matsuyama addressed the gathering of teachers and primary school children to start the event, after which everyone took part in planting trees in Len McTaggart Park. Following the ceremony the attendees made origami paper cranes, which have become an international symbol of peace through the sad but inspiring story of a young girl named Sadako Sasaki, and sent them to Hiroshima Peace Park.

Mayor Logan Howlett (left) and Consul Sachiyo Matsuyama (right) plant a tree to commemorate Hiroshima Day.


State Government Reception  to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Sister State Relationship between Western Australia and Hyogo Prefecture and essay contest

In commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the sister-state affiliation between the State of Western Australia and Hyogo Prefecture, the Hon Colin Barnett MLA, Premier of Western Australia, hosted a State Government Reception on August 5. Mr Toshizo Ido, Governor of Hyogo Prefecture in Japan, was the guest of honour, and the pair signed a joint statement which reflected on past achievements and outlined efforts to promote future mutual exchange in a wide range of fields.

Numerous people flew in from Hyogo for the event, including Mr Shinobu Kamo - Speaker of the Hyogo Prefectural Assembly, staff from the University of Hyogo and the Hyogo Prefectural Board of Education, and members of the Hyogo Prefecture Citizen Delegation. Also in attendance were the Ambassador of Japan in Australia - His Excellency Mr Shigekazu Sato, Consul-General of Japan Mr Tatsuo Ishikawa and other staff from the Consulate-General of Japan in Perth, local Japanese business people, Australian past and present politicians, and many other Japanese and Australians involved in Australia-Japan relations.  

A Japanese essay contest award ceremony was also held at Hyogo Prefecture Cultural Centre in City Beach as part of the commemoration activities. The contest was open to students from years 1-12 and some 278 works spanning four categories were submitted to the contest. Six winners were chosen and each of the winners received an award presented by the Governor of Hyogo, Mr Toshizo Ido at a ceremony also attended by Elizabeth Constable, State Minister for Education and Consul-General of Japan Mr Tatsuo Ishikawa. As part of their prize, 3 winning high school students will spend a week in Hyogo Prefecture.

(From left to right) Speaker of Hyogo Prefectural Assembly Mr Shinobu Kamo, Governor of Hyogo Mr Toshizo Ido, State Premier The Honourable Colin Barnett and President of the Legislative Council The Honourable Barry House (Photo by Russell Barton).


         Adachi Student Delegationfs annual visit to the City of Belmont

A delegation of students from Adachi Ward spent five days visiting the City of Belmont as part of the Sister City annual exchange program held between the two regions. A ceremony attended by Mayor Glenys Godfrey, members of the City of Belmont Council and Consul Sachiyo Matsuyama from the Consulate-General of Japan was held in the City of Belmont on August 4 to welcome the delegates. The delegates were able to experience the Australian way of life by staying with local host families and conducting a visit to a local primary school. Prior to the delegationfs departure, a farewell ceremony was also held in the City of Belmont on August 8.


City of Perth - Kagoshima Youthwings student visit

A welcoming event was held in the City of Perth on August 9 to mark a visit to Perth by a group of students from Kagoshima City as part of the ongoing Sister City relationship between the two cities. The event was attended by the Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi, Consul-General of Japan Mr Tatsuo Ishikawa as well as students from both Perth and Kagoshima. The students from Kagoshima City wore brightly coloured festival robes and performed a traditional Japanese dance.


         Kosai City (Shizuoka Prefecture) delegationfs visit to the City of Greater Geraldton

On August 17 a Welcome Reception was held by Mr Terry Of Toole, President of the Australia – Japan Society of Geraldton to welcome delegates from Kosai City to the City of Greater Geraldton. Consul-General of Japan Mr Tatsuo Ishikawa was invited to speak at the reception and was accompanied by Consul Sachiyo Matsuyama. The delegation to the City of Greater Geraldton from Japan included students from Kosai as well as Mr Hajime Mikami, the Mayor of Kosai City. The exchange relationship between the City of Greater Geraldton and Kosai City was the first event of its kind held ever since the Shire of Mullewa was amalgamated into the City of Greater Geraldton and also since the Arai Town was amalgamated into Kosai City. In his speech at the welcoming ceremony, Consul-General Ishikawa stressed the importance of cross-cultural activities such as the exchange delegation from Kosai City to the City of Greater Geraldton. The next day, Japanese students attended Nagle Catholic College to experience school life in Australia.

(From left to right) Consul-General of Japan Mr Tatsuo Ishikawa, Mayor of Kosai City Mr Hajime Mikami, Bishop Justin Bianchini and Australia – Japan Society Geraldton President Mr Terry Of Toole.


School visit to Saint Maria Gorettifs Catholic Primary and Quinns Rocks Primary schools

Consul Sachiyo Matsuyama accompanied by other Consulate staff visited Saint Maria Gorettifs Catholic Primary School for two periods on August 19. The year threes and fours were able to learn about Japanese culture by watching DVDs and participating in an origami activity. The students completed their origami gkabutoh or samurai helmet with ease and everyone was able to proudly wear their finished products. Consul Matsuyama was impressed by the studentsf knowledge of the Japanese language and the fact that they had been making ggetah – traditional Japanese wooden sandals in their woodwork class.

Also, on August 24 Consul Sachiyo Matsuyama together with other Consulate-General of Japan staff visited Quinns Rocks Primary School. Students from year four to seven were able to view DVDs about life in Japan and Japanese culture and then try their hand at creating origami samurai helmets. Consulate staff were most impressed with the studentsf advanced origami skills. The school visit is a part of Quinns Rocks Primary Schoolfs focus on Japanese language and culture this semester.


Consul Sachiyo Matuyama (right) and a local Consulate staff member demonstrate how to fold the origami samurai helmet.


Japanese Language Speech Festival held by the Japanese Language Teachersf Association of Western Australia

The annual Japanese Speech Festival held by the Japanese Language Teachersf Association of Western Australia (JLTAWA) at the State Library of Western Australia on August 18 and was attended by Deputy of Mission Mr Kazuhiko Anzai from the Consulate-General of Japan in Perth. The contest was open to year 5-12 students with a record 84 students participating in this yearfs contest. Mr Anzai awarded prizes to the winners of various divisions and categories in the contest.


Australia – Japan Society of Western Australia Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of the Australia – Japan Society of Western Australia (AJSWA) was held at Hyogo Prefecture Cultural Centre in City Beach on August 24. The meeting summarised the Societyfs activities over the past year and marked a reshuffling of Committee members, most notably the handing over of the Presidency from Mr Patrick Whight. Consul-General of Japan Mr Tatsuo Ishikawa was invited to speak at the meeting and praised the Societyfs efforts in assisting in the creation and running of Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami relief fundraising events. Mr Ishikawa also highlighted on importance of the Societyfs ongoing efforts to promote both Australian and Japanese culture amongst community members in Western Australia.



       Special Japan Brief 

Featuring the Great East Japan Earthquake that took place on March 11, 2011, the Special Japan Brief concisely describes every week, in English and Japanese, the damage inflicted, the situation at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, overseas assistance and cooperation, efforts for recovery, and other developments.

Special Japan Brief: Overview of and Recovery from Great East Japan Earthquake (Part 18): (August 1, 2011) 



Web Japan

Web Japan provides Japanophiles with a world of engrossing information on Japan in all fields, from traditional culture to the latest fashions. http://web-japan.org/



Office Information 

The Consulate-General of Japan in Perth will be closed on Monday, September 19         (Respect-for-the-Aged 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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