National Day Reception for the 85th Birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan December 5, 2018

On December 5, prior to the 85th Birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan on December 23, Ambassador Kimihiro Ishikane and Mrs. Ishikane hosted a reception to celebrate the birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan. The reception was attended by distinguished guests including the Hon. Michael Moldaver, Judge of the Supreme Court, the Hon. Andrew Leslie, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Hon. Paul Massicotte, Senator and Mr. Jamie Schmale, M.P., both Vice-Chairs of the Canada-Japan Inter-Parliamentary Group. Approximately 310 guests attended the reception from a variety of fields including Canadian federal government officials, Senators, Members of Parliament, Judges, heads of diplomatic missions, academics, cultural groups, and local businesses.
 

Ms. Elisabeth Santos, the winner of Tokyo Talent Competition 2017 at Japan Festival Canada in Mississauga, kicked off the ceremony by singing the national anthems of both Canada and Japan with her mesmerizing voice.
 

Ambassador Ishikane then delivered his opening remark (full text) that the strategic cooperation between Japan and Canada moved forward in various fields in 2018 marking the 90th Anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, but efforts on both sides need to be made to put this strategic partnership into action in the coming years. Ambassador Ishikane then introduced a video clip titled ‘Japan, Canada and Me’ created by the Embassy of Japan in Canada, stressing the importance of people-to-people exchange as foundation of diplomatic relations. He also welcomed the guests to visit Japan, which has now fully recovered from natural disasters that stroke all over Japan in 2018 and is ready to welcome visitors from abroad. As well, Ambassador Ishikane stated that this year’s reception would be the last one to celebrate the birthday of the current Emperor of Japan and that 2019 would mark the 10th anniversary of the visit of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress to Canada in 2009, highlighting a lullaby that Her Majesty the Empress sang for children at a hospital in Toronto.  


Parliamentary Secretary Leslie then gave a reply remark, touching on the recent developments of Canada-Japan relationship such as the ratification of the CPTPP, WTO reform, and the initiative to counter North Korea’s maritime smuggling. He went on to state that the 90th Anniversary of diplomatic relations would continue into 2019, reflecting the two different years in which our respective legations were established. The Hon. Leslie concluded his speech by introducing to the audience the Canadian version of the 90th logo for next year.
 

The Hon. Andrew Leslie, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Paul Massicotte, Senator, and Mr. Jamie Schmale, M.P. and the Hon. Michael Moldaver, Judge of the Supreme Court then joined Ambassador Ishikane in Kagami-biraki, a ceremony often performed in Japan to celebrate the start of a new departure in life or business.
 

At the reception, Mr. Okumura, Chef of Ambassador Ishikane, served the guests Nigirizushi (hand-shaped sushi). Many kinds of sake from different parts of Japan were also served. A tasting booth for newly-harvested Japanese rice was also set up, along with booths by Japanese companies and organization. Presented on the stage, an ikebana arrangement by Mr. Mitsugu Kikuchi, Sub-Grand Master of the Ohara School, graced the reception.


 
Ms. Elisabeth Santos singing national
anthems of both Canada and Japan
 
Ambassador Ishikane making
his welcome remarks
 
The Hon. Andrew Leslie, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, making his remarks
 
Ambassador Ishikane and Parliamentary Secretary Leslie unveiling the Canadian version of the logo for the 90th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations

 
Kagami-biraki ceremony
(left to right: Senator Massicotte, PS Leslie, Amb. Ishikane, Supreme Court Judge Moldaver, and MP Schmale)

 
Flower arrangement by Ohara School



 
Photo Exhibition

 
Sake booth

 
Nigiri-sushi by Chef Okumura

 
Japanese rice booth

 
Japanese tea booth

 
Embassy booth

 
ANA booth

 
H.I.S. booth

 
JAL booth

 
Kintetsu International booth

 
Nikkei America booth

 
Arita-yaki porcelain booth

 
 
Japan National Tourism Organization booth

 
Movie clips of visit by Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan to Canada and ‘Japan, Canada and Me’