The 32nd Japanese Speech Contest in Ottawa

On Saturday, February 27, 2021, the Embassy of Japan and the Organizing Committee for the Japanese Speech Contest in Ottawa held the 32nd Japanese Speech Contest in Ottawa. The Japanese Speech Contest in Ottawa had been held at the Embassy of Japan in Canada for many years, but this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the contest was held virtually. The contest was organized with the support of the Japan Foundation Toronto, Mitsui Canada Foundation, and Carleton University. 23 contestants who are currently studying Japanese delivered their speeches covering various topics, refined after weeks of practice and expressed their strong feelings and opinions. The contest was livestreamed via the Embassy’s Facebook page which was viewed by family and friends of contestants as well as many students who are studying Japanese.
In opening remarks, Ambassador Kawamura expressed his hope that contestants who are working hard to learn Japanese would encourage many people to have interest in Japanese and Japanese culture while we live in a time where cooperation is needed more than ever in the world. He also wished that we would see increased solidarity between the people of Japan and Canada.

The Canada National Japanese Speech Contest which is held following the regional contests that take
place throughout Canada is scheduled on Saturday, March 28, 2021.

The results of the speech contest

Beginners’ Category:
 The 1st Prize: Shuyu Sun (University of Ottawa) “The Reason Why I Like Crayon Shin-chan”
 The 2nd Prize: Youn Hee Lee (Carleton University) “How I am Spending Time During COVID-19 with Happiness”
 The 3nd Prize: Geneviève Haché (University of Ottawa) “My Love for Foreign Languages”


Intermediate Category:
 The 1st Prize: Eva Lee (Queen’s University) “Please Protect Ainu Language”
 The 2nd Prize: Yi Tong Liu (Carleton University) “A Speech for Young People Struggling to Find a Goal
 The 3rd Prize: Samuel Gomes de Abreu (University of Ottawa) “The Re-Emergence of City Pop”


Advanced Category:
 The 1st Prize: Johar Pirzada (Carleton University) “The Climb”
 The 2nd Prize: Rupert Donovan (Carleton University) “It Is What It Is, Until It Isn’t”
 The 3rd Prize: Qingke Yu (Carleton University) “Are Japanese Girls Still Trying to be Cute?”


Open Category:
 The 1st Prize: Hafsa Hasna Kaouache (University of Ottawa) “Where Do I Go from Here”


Special Prizes:
 Kelly Baez
 Eric Boulay
 Dilys Xiangqiu Jiang

Ambassador Kawamura delivering opening remarks

Remarks by Ms. Sasaki, Chair of the Organizing Committee

Ms. Matsufuji, Chief Judge announcing results
and giving feedback to the contestants

Japanese cultural video screened
during the judge’s deliberation

1st prize winners of beginner’s, intermediate, advanced, and open categories
(From left, Shuyu Sun, Eva Lee, Johar Pirzada, Hafsa Hasna Kaouache)