The 35th Canadian National Japanese Speech Contest

On March 24, the Embassy of Japan and the Organizing Committee for the Japanese Speech Contest in Ottawa, the Canadian National Japanese Speech Contest Organizing Committee, and the Canadian Association for Japanese Language Education (CAJLE) held the 35th Canadian National Japanese Speech Contest at the Information and Culture Centre of the Embassy. The contest was organized with the support of Blue Tree Books, Casio Computer Co., Ltd., Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at the University of Ottawa, IACE Travel Canada Inc., The Japan Foundation, Toronto, Mitsui & Co., Ltd., Prince Takamado Japan Canada Memorial Fund at the University of Alberta, and the School of Linguistics and Language Studies, Carleton University. In this contest, 23 winners from 7 regional competitions held across Canada competed in four categories (beginner, intermediate, advanced, and open categories). All contestants gave passionate speeches on a wide variety of topics, including their own thoughts and experiences, social issues, language education, and Japanese culture. The contest was attended by an audience including Japanese language educators, students and other people who are interested in the Japanese language.
Ambassador YAMANOUCHI Kanji gave opening remarks, saying that by learning another language, you can understand the culture and way of thinking of people from another country. The exchanges between the contestants gathered at this contest are the basis of a good and close relationship between Japan and Canada.
In addition, during the event, Mr. Adam Shrock, a student at the University of Ottawa who visited Japan last year as part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan's Kakehashi Project, an exchange program aiming to deepen cultural understanding between Japan and Canada, gave a presentation on his experiences during his stay in Japan.
The day before the contest, a reception was held at the official residence of Ambassador Yamanouchi where contest related guests and contestants were invited. Participants at the reception deepened their friendships in a peaceful atmosphere.
The results for the Canadian National Japanese Speech Contest are as follows:
The 1st Prize Winners:
Beginner Category - Sterling Wu (Western University) “An Old Gentleman’s Coffee”
Intermediate Category - Seohee Lee (University of British Columbia) “What Keeps Me Safe From Myself”
Advanced Category - Hei Tung Chloe Shek (York University) “Views and Allies of “Young Carers”
Open Category - Megumi Varghese (University of Alberta) “The First Step” 
Grand Prize
Megumi Varghese (University of Alberta) “The First Step”  
Mitsui & Co. Award
Seohee Lee (University of British Columbia) “What Keeps Me Safe From Myself”
Hei Tung Chloe Shek (York University) “Views and Allies of “Young Carers””
Casio Computer Co., Ltd. Award
Liam Jay (Saint Mary’s University) “Why I Like Books”
Kessy Clark (Université de Montréal) “Fa’aitoito”
IACE Travel Canada Inc. Award
Louris Cai (Université de Montréal) “The Story of a Singer”
Ambassador’s Award
Toluwalase Omoniyi (University of Winnipeg) “My Kanji Journey”
Ambassador Yamanouchi delivering his remarks at the speech contest

Remarks by Dr. Davis, Interim Director, Prince Takamado Japan Centre for Teaching and Research
Remarks by Dr. Aizu, Chair of the Organizing Committee

Mr. Takeshi Mitsui, President & CEO, Mitsui & CO. (Canada) LTD. giving feedback on the contest
Audience and participants

Mr. Shrock, a Kakehashi Project participant giving his presentation

Chair of the Organizing Committee, judges, and contestants

Ambassador Yamanouchi delivering welcoming remarks at the reception Reception at the official residence