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
(left to right: Senator Massicotte, PS Leslie, Amb. Ishikane, Supreme Court Judge Moldaver, and MP Schmale)
|Flower arrangement by Ohara School
||Nigiri-sushi by Chef Okumura
|Japanese rice booth
||Japanese tea 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’