Reception for the 81st Birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan


On November 27th, prior to His Majesty the Emperor of Japan’s birthday on December 23rd, 2014, a reception in honour of his birthday was hosted by Ambassador Norihiro Okuda and Madam Keiko Okuda at the Westin Ottawa Hotel.


The reception was attended by distinguished guests including: The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade; The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors); Co-Chair of the Canada-Japan Inter-Parliamentary Group, Mr. Mike Wallace, M.P.; The Honourable Deepak Obhrai P.C., M.P., Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and for International Human Rights; Ms. Lois Brown, M.P., Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development; Mr. Andrew Saxton, M.P., Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance.


There were about 460 people in attendance from a variety of fields including Canadian government officials, heads of diplomatic missions, Japanese nationals and representatives from the local Japanese-Canadian community, academia, cultural groups, media and local businesses.


On behalf of Canadian government, The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade delivered a speech conveying a congratulatory message to His Majesty Emperor Akihito. He noted that Japan and Canada are founded on shared fundamental values and are maintaining close political and economic relations. Furthermore, the two nations have been in active exchange over the years. With the participation of guests, the sake barrel opening ceremony, “Kagami Biraki,” was held as guests wished for further expansion and growth of the bilateral relationship between Japan and Canada.


At the reception, Ambassador Okuda’s personal Chef performed a live sushi demonstration, while Japanese tea and sake were offered at tasting booths as a means of introducing Washoku (Japanese Cuisine), which were of great interest to guests.


Ikebana work by Mr. Mitsugi Kikuchi, Sub Grand Master of the Ohara School was displayed on stage while a DVD highlighting Japanese culture was shown on large screens. Japan's two leading airlines, Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA), were also on hand at tourist booths to introduce beauty of Japan to guests.


Following the Japanese and Canadian national anthems sung by Ottawa soprano singer Ms. Noriko Hashimoto accompanied on the piano by Mr. Emil Azuma Prikryl, Ambassador Okuda delivered opening remarks highlighting the ongoing bilateral cooperation between Japan and Canada in political and economic areas. The Ambassador expressed his expectation for further cooperation between both countries.


Link to the Ambassador’s speech



Ambassador Okuda delivering opening remarks


The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade delivering remarks.


Representatives of the Canadian Government take part in the Kagami Biraki ceremony.




Ms. Noriko Hashimoto and Mr. Emil Azuma Prikryl performing Japanese and Canadian national anthems




Chef Hamana preparing sushi for guests


Japanese offered at tasting booth

Tourist Booths were set up to introduce tourism in Japan to guests.