2023 New Year’s Celebration Reception

On January 19, a New Year’s Celebration Reception was held jointly with the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Perth at the Official Residence of the Consul-General of Japan in Perth. The first reception in three years, this year we were joined by the Hon. Sue Ellery MLC, Minister for Finance, Commerce and Women's Interests representing the Premier of Western Australia, the Hon. Michelle Roberts MLA, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Mr Shane Love MLA, Deputy Leader of the Opposition representing the Leader of the Opposition, the Hon. Richard Court AC, former Premier of WA and Ambassador to Japan, along with some 130 distinguished guests from government and representatives from Japanese business and the local Japanese communities.
In his welcome address, Consul-General Naito made the following remarks. (Read his full speech here.)
“In October of last year, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida and Australian Prime Minister Albanese met in Perth for their Leader’s Meeting, thereby uplifting the Special Strategic Partnership between Japan and Australia to an even higher level. Western Australia is the showcase of all the important elements of the increasingly vital Japan-Australia relations, including energy and mineral resources and security cooperation.
Following the visit by Prime Minister Kishida, there has been news of the Premier of Western Australia visiting Japan next week, as well as the resumption of direct flights between Perth and Narita Airport through All Nippon Airways, which had been suspended due to the pandemic. We expect the resumption of these direct flights will further increase the volume of business and cultural interactions.
The various developments such as these have been possible thanks to the long history of friendship and mutual understanding between Japan and Australia, and the enduring efforts of residents and partner organizations. We are fortunate to have so many unofficial ambassadors making bridges between Japan and Western Australia. The Consulate General of Japan will seek to be an effective moderator to assist activities of the goodwill ambassadors as much as possible.”

While congratulating the Consul-General on his new posting, Minister Ellery made the following remarks. She stated how Prime Minister Kishida’s visit was an immense honour, how great it was that he not only visited metropolitan Perth, but also the Rockingham area as well.
She remarked on how Premier McGowan was very much looking forward to his visit to Japan next week. She highlighted that Japan is one of WA’s important global partners, touching upon the key role Japanese business investment has played in the development of Western Australian energy and mineral resources sectors based on a long relationship of mutual trust. She concluded by affirming their wish to continue to strengthen cooperation with Japan in areas including decarbonization through alternative fuels such as hydrogen.
After the greetings, the traditional sake barrel opening ceremony was held to celebrate the New Year and to bring good health, happiness and harmony for the year to come. This was followed by a toast from the Chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Perth, Mr Yosuke Ueda. For the remainder of the evening, guests enjoyed Japanese dishes, including sushi, and Japanese sake in a friendly atmosphere.