Hiroba Newsletter



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

January 2012 Edition

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


New Year Greetings from Consul-General Tatsuo Ishikawa


I wish all the readers of Hiroba a Happy New Year.

This is my first time to welcome in the New Year in Perth, having begun my term here in April last year.

In March last year, the Great East Japan Earthquake struck Japan. Efforts to rebuild Japan are continuing, and strong solidarity and warm support that we receive from the Western Australian government and people, the Japanese community and Japan-related organizations contribute greatly to these efforts. Such support includes those charity events held by Friends of Japan in April, and eNippon Cha Cha Cha-Genki Japanf in November, 2011. People from the Japanese Antarctic research ship, JS Shirase, also participated in the latter of these two events.


In the same month of November, the Consulate-General of Japan in Perth took part in a World of Food Festival, organised by the Consular Corps of Western Australia, held in the gardens of Government House. The Consulate staff served Japanese food and provided cooking demonstrations as a way of expressing appreciation for the support received from the Western Australian public following the Great East Japan Earthquake.    


Western Australia and Japan have a history of exchange that stretches back more than a hundred years. This relationship continues to strengthen in all fields, including politics, economics and culture. In March last year, Premier Colin Barnett made his second trip to Japan since becoming Premier. In July, the former Prime Minister of Japan, Yasuo Fukuda, came to Perth to chair the eBoao Forumf and in November, a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Western Australia and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation was signed to build a comprehensive strategic partnership. I hope that these exchanges will provide an impetus for future projects in Western Australia. Academic and cultural exchanges have also been robust. In particular, last year marked the 30th anniversaries of both the sister state relationship between Western Australia and Hyogo Prefecture, and the sister city relationship between the Shire of Broome and Taiji Town. I hope that such exchanges based on sister-state and sister-city relationships, and the sharing of Japanese culture through Japanese language education and other means, will flourish in the future as well. 


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan invited Australian former prisoners of war from the Second World War to Japan in November and December as part of its reconciliation efforts. One West Australian was among those to go to Japan, where he visited places of significance to the war and participated in various exchange programmes. I am very pleased he was able to have these experiences. 


I have visited various places in Western Australia, including Broome, the Pilbara, Geraldton and Busselton. In these places I felt the history of their exchanges with Japan, the abundance of resources and nature, and the warmth of the people. Perth successfully hosted CHOGM last October, and I feel its potential as an international city will grow further and further. At the beginning of the new year, I am committed to the continuous improvement of consular services for Japanese people in Western Australia, and hope to further strengthen the relationship between Japan and this state which boasts both a rich history and future.


Kakizome – first calligraphy of the New Year


One of the customs which takes place in the New Year in Japan is a practice called kakizome, where people write a short message for the year ahead using a brush and ink. The custom began in the imperial court and people would write poems while sitting facing a certain direction, but nowadays people write shorter messages containing a few auspicious characters or words.


Kakizome traditionally takes place on January 2 but there are many gatherings across Japan at schools or public venues on other days in early January. Some schools assign kakizome as homework over the year-end break, and there is a large contest held in Tokyo on January 5 every year which attracts thousands of participants and is featured in the media. There is also a festival known as Sagicho held in mid-January where kakizome are burnt, and it is said that if the burning paper flies high into the sky then the writing skills of the person who wrote it will improve.

The characters in this kakizome say shougatsu, which means eNew Yearf




Japanese Icebreaker to pave the way to Australian base in the Antarctic


Australia and Japan have a close working relationship in Antarctica and regularly engage in scientific and logistic co-operative activities. Upon request from the Australian government, the Japanese Icebreaker JS Shirase, which docked in Fremantle last November as part of its annual journey to the Antarctic, will in February break thick ice which has prevented Australian research and supply ship Aurora Australis from conducting full resupply operations at Mawson Station over the last two years. JS Shirase will spend approximately 10 days breaking thick sections of ice to assist Australiafs Antarctic Program.  Aurora Australis assisted Japanese Antarctic Research by transporting Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition Team members to the Antarctic in 2008 while the current JS Shirase was being built.


For more information on the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition (JARE), please view the following link. http://www.nipr.ac.jp/english/antarctic-expedition.html


Icebreaker JS Shirase      © Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force



Consulate-General News

Emperorfs Birthday Reception


A reception was held at the Official Residence of the Consul-General on December 8 to celebrate the 78th birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, Emperor Akihito. Speeches were made by Consul-General Tatsuo Ishikawa, the Honourable William Marmion, MLA, Minister for Environment and Water and representing the Premier of Western Australia, and the Honourable John Kobelke, MLA, representing the Leader of the Opposition, before toasts were made to both His Majesty the Emperor of Japan and Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II. Emperor Akihito is the 125th Emperor of Japan and is the Emperor of the Heisei Period or Era, which began in 1989.


Consul-General Tatsuo Ishikawa speaking at the Emperorfs Birthday Reception



School Visit to Bullsbrook District High School


Consul Sachiyo Matsuyama and staff from the Consulate-General of Japan visited Bullsbrook District High School (K – 12) on December 12 and spent the early afternoon with Year 4 students. The visit began with a quiz on information the students had learnt from Japan-related projects throughout the year, and Consulate staff were impressed by the studentsf level of knowledge. Students were then shown a DVD and taught how to make origami, before playing both bingo and epaper, rock, scissorsf in Japanese.


Consulate staff quiz the year 4 students about Japan



Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships

Some 30 Japanese athletes competed in the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships held from December 3 to 18. The competition was the major qualifying event for sailing for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and Japan qualified in five classes. The Consulate-General of Japan set up a marquee in the Worlds Village in Esplanade Park during the competition period, where staff provided visitors with information on travelling in Japan and Japanese culture.


Consulate-General of Japan marquee in the Worlds Village


       Watch Japan Now

Shedding light on interesting people, figures and trends, "Watch Japan Now" brings you compact and accessible updates.


Global Effort of the Space Environment Research Center (SERC) of Kyushu University (December 8, 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 Thursday, 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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