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Embassy's Highlights 2009

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Japan-Saudi Arabia Youth Exchange Program - Visit of Japanese Youth Delegation to Saudi Arabia

In December 25th 2009, H.E. Mr. Shigeru Endo, Ambassador of Japan to Saudi Arabia, hosted a welcome-dinner for the Japanese youth delegation visiting the Kingdom under the Japan-Saudi Arabia Youth Exchange Program.  H.E. Mr. Mansour bin Abdulaziz Al-Khdairy, Undersecretary of the General Presidency of Youth Welfare, officials from the Presidency of Youth Welfare and members of the Saudi youth delegation who visited Japan in October 2009 attended.

The Youth Exchange Program initiated based on the agreement reached during the visit of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, then Crown Prince, to Japan in 1988.  The Program, which has its history of nearly 10 years, is mutually sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the General Presidency of Youth Welfare in Saudi Arabia, with the aim to promoting personnel exchange between the two friendly nations.

In 2009, 10 Japanese youth visited Saudi Arabia in December 16th, and traveled across the major cities of the Kingdom, including Riyadh, Damman and Jeddah during 10 days of the program.  The Japanese delegation also visited various academic institutions and governmental authorities, where they exchanged views and deepened mutual understanding with their Saudi counterparts.

Youth delegation(Japanese)
Ambassador of Japan, Mr. Endo, and Undersecretary of Youth Welfare Mr. Khdairy (Middle)in a memorial photo with the Japanese youth delegation

Japan-Saudi Arabia Youth Exchange Program – A send-off party for Saudi Youth Delegation

On 17 October 2009, H.E.Mr. Shigeru Endo, Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, hosted a send-off party, for Saudi Youth Delegation traveling to Japan under Japan-Saudi Arabia Youth Exchange Program, at his residence. This program was first initiated by Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the Saudi General Presidency of Youth Welfare (GPYW) in 1999. Under the program, 10 members of the delegation from Japan and Saudi Arabia visits the partner country every year, to strengthen the friendly relationship and exchange views among the young men from both countries.

In this year, 8 Saudi youths were selected from different regions of the Kingdom. They will first visit Japan for 10 days as of 19 October 2009 with 2 managers of GPYW, heading the delegation. During their stay in Tokyo, they will visit a law court, a TV station, a university, a sumo training stable (sumo-beya) and so on, and then they will further travel to Kyoto and Hiroshima, where they will visit some shrines and the memorial park with the Atomic Bomb Dome. They will also meet with the local people through the participation in local festivals.

At this send-off party, after H.E. Mr. Endo and Mr. Abdulaziz, leader of the delegation made speeches, all participants enjoyed a taste of Japanese food.

Youth delegation
Saudi Youth Delegation and H.E.Mr.Endo (the center in the second line)

Signing Ceremony for the Energy Conservation Consultancy Service Contract between Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) & Ministry of Water and Electricity (MoWE)

On September 30, 2009, the Energy Conservation Consultancy Service Contract between TEPCO & MoWE was signed and its signing ceremony was held at MoWE headquarters in Riyadh.

Mr. Susumu Shirakawa, Executive Vice President, TEPCO and Mr. Shigeru Endo, Ambassador of Japan, attended the ceremony with Eng. Mr. Abdullah Al-Hussayen, Minister of Water and Electricity and Dr. Saleh Al-Awaji, Deputy Minister for Electricity Affairs. The Minister showed his appreciation to Japanese support and Mr. Shirakawa promised TEPCO’s dedication to fulfill the expectation from the Saudi side, while Amb. Endo commended the work and efforts to make this new project possible. This consultancy contract is to put “Master Plan for Energy Conservation in the Power Sector” in practice, which was submitted by JICA in March, 2009.

TEPCO signing ceremony
Minister Hosain (left),Ambassador Endo(center),Vice President Shirakawa (right) (image source: Riyadh newspaper)

H.E. Mr. Shigeru Endo, Ambassador of Japan to Saudi Arabia, participated in the inauguration ceremony of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

H.E. Mr. Shigeru Endo, Ambassador of Japan in Saudi Arabia, participated in the inauguration ceremony of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology(KAUST) located near Jeddha city on 23rd, September, 2009.

Taking this opportunity, H.E. Ambassador Endo exchanged greeting with some representatives of Arab and Asian countries.

the inauguration ceremony of KAUST
The second from the right in the second line : H.E.Mr.Endo (image source: Riyadh newspaper)

H.E.Ambassador Endo to Host a Ramadan Iftar in his Residence for Saudi Graduates from Japan

The Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, H.E.Mr.Shigeru Endo, hosted a Ramadan Iftar on Wednesday 9 Sep. 2009 for 18 Saudi guests, who had studied in Japan, and the members of “Sakura Mamlakah”, a Saudi student group eagerly trying to promote the Japanese culture in the Kingdom. It is the fourth Iftar which is annually held in the Ambassador’s residence, however, this Iftar is the first event for H.E.Mr.Endo who just arrived in Riyadh to take up a new position. In the Iftar, he and the guests exchanged frank views on how to further strengthen the Japan-Saudi relations in all fields.

In his speech, Mr. Ambassador, who served in Riyadh 10 years ago, said how happy he is to meet again his old friends in Riyadh. He further expressed his hope that Saudi graduates from Japanese universities will play an important role in strengthening the bond and ties between the two nations. Following the speech, Dr. Sultan Al-Sultan (a university professor) and Dr. Walid Al-Bhkaly (the General Manager of a company), who completed their study in Japan, expressed their best wishes for Mr. Ambassador’s success in the new mission and further enhancement of the Japan-Saudi relationship. This Iftar provided a good opportunity for the Saudi graduates to expand their own networks.

Opening speech by H.E.Mr.Endo Speech by Dr.Sultan Speech by Dr.Walid Group photograph
Opening speech by H.E.Mr.Endo Speech by Dr.Sultan Speech by Dr.Walid Group photograph

Japanese Cultural Event in Riyadh Literary Club

A cultural event “The Japan Day” co-organized by the Embassy of Japan and the Riyadh Literary Club was held in the evening of 11th July 2009 at the main theater of the club.

The event started by two opening speeches by Dr. Saad Al-Bazei, Chairman of Riyadh Literary Club, and Mr. Fumio Iwai, Charge d’affaires of the Embassy of Japan. After a documentary film was shown to introduce the Japanese famous places to visit, Dr. Saad Al-Bazei delivered a lecture on his personal impressions of Japan through his visit to Japan and Dr. Walid Al-Bahkaly, a graduate from a Japanese university, also delivered a lecture on Japanese culture from the viewpoint of his life in Japan and the comparison between the two languages, Japanese and Arabic. At the end of the event, “Sakura Mamlaka”, Saudi volunteer youth group eagerly trying to promote Japanese language and its culture, presented a unique performance based on their interests. The main theater of the club was filled with more than 100 audiences and this event ended successfully.

Opening speech by Mr. Fumio Iwai Lecture by Dr. Walid Al-Bahkaly Performance by“Sakura Mamlaka”
Opening speech by Mr. Fumio Iwai Lecture by Dr. Walid Al-Bahkaly Performance by“Sakura Mamlaka”

Introduction of Japanese Culture---Karate Lecture and Demonstration

A delegation of Japanese Karate experts dispatched by the Japan Foundation visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from May 26th to 31st, 2009. The delegation included Mr. Kesakatsu Kiyohara (leader of the delegation) (7dan, Gojuryu), Mr. Masataka Muramatsu (8dan, Gojuryu), Mr. Kazuo Nasu (7dan, Syotokan) and Mr. Kazumitsu Nasu (5dan, Syotokan).
During their visit to the Kingdom, the Japanese Karate experts presented their Karate demonstration in the Kingdom open tournament “No.34, Cup of the President of Youth Welfare” held in Riyadh from May 27th to 28th. Japanese Karate experts held a Karate demonstration in front of large audience, in cooperation with the Saudi Arabian Karate Federation. After the demonstration, the 4 Japanese Karate experts participated in a joint training with Saudi Karate players.
The delegation also visited 4 educational institutions in Riyadh (Namuzajiah School, Islamic Education School, King Khalid Military College and King Faisal School) and had a Karate demonstration as well as a joint training with students. Japanese Karate experts were very much welcomed by all the teachers and students at the schools they visited and received a big applause for their excellent demonstration.
This program gave a number of Saudis, from children to adults, an opportunity to be exposed to the Japanese culture, Karate, and to promote their understanding of that through an interaction with Japanese Karate experts

Karate Demonstration by Japanese expert at No.34 cup of the president of youth welfare Joint training by Japanese experts with Saudi Karate players Joint training by Japanese experts with the students at Islamic Education School Group photo with teachers and students at King Faisal School
Karate Demonstration by Japanese expert at No.34 cup of the president of youth welfare Joint training by Japanese experts with Saudi Karate players Joint training by Japanese experts with the students at Islamic Education School Group photo with teachers and students at King Faisal School

The 4th Japanese Speech Contest on Thursday, May 21, Jointly organized by the Embassy of Japan and King Saud University

The 4th Japanese Speech Contest co-organized by the Embassy of Japan and the Faculty of Languages and Translation of the King Saud University, was held on May 21 at the new building of the faculty. Six Saudi students, who study Japanese at the faculty, participated in the contest and delivered their speeches in Japanese in the presence of Japanese Ambassador Mr. Shigeru Nakamura, Dr. Faisal Al-Khtani, Chair of the Asian Language and Translation Department, a number of Saudis who studied in Japan or who are studying Japanese in the Kingdom and prominent figures of Japanese society in Riyadh including the panel of judges to evaluate the performance of Saudi students in delivering speech and finally select the very best student among six contestants. The students chose their own topics for their speeches ranging from the social affairs in Saudi Arabia and Japan to their own experience in Japan.

The result of the contest is as follows:

The winner:
  • Mr. Feras Al-Ojama, “King Faisal”

  • The runner-up:
  • Mr. Salem Jabri, “Employment Situation for Saudi Youths”
  • Mr. Muhammad Farahan, “Japanese Animation and I”
  • Mr. Mohanned Assarra, “Unforgettable Experience in Japan”
  • Mr. Maher Al-Otaibi, “Modernization in Japan”
  • Mr. Bader Al-Otaibi, “Greetings of Saudis”
  • The judges’ panel and other audience were impressed by the level and the language skills of the Saudi students. Audience also commented that the contents of their speeches were really interesting, adding that they highly appreciate the efforts by the university. Moreover, the comments from the judges and other audience raise the sufficient incentive for the students, including six contestants, at the Japanese language unit to be diligent in their Japanese language studies continuously. All the contestants received a big applause from the audience for their excellent performance.

    The 4th Japanese Speech Contest
    Group Photo:Japanese Ambassador Mr. Shigeru Nakamura, Dr. Faisal Al-Khtani, Chair of the Asian Language and Translation Department, 6 Saudi contestants and the panel of judges

    HE Mr. Yasuo Fukuda, Former Prime Minister of Japan, visited Saudi Arabia

    HE Mr. Yasuo Fukuda, Former Prime Minister of Japan, visited Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Riyadh and Jeddah) from May 9 to 13, 2009 for the participation in the 27th Annual Plenary Meeting of Interaction Council at King Abdullah Economic City in Saudi Arabia as well as strengthening the multilayered bilateral relationship.
    On May 13, 2009, HE Mr. Fukuda had an audience with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, and exchanged views upon the bilateral relationship and international /regional affairs.

    HE Mr. Yasuo Fukuda, Former Prime Minister of Japan, visited Saudi Arabia
    (Resource: Saudi Press Agency(SPA))

    The 8th Japan Cup Horse Racing

    Under heavy rain on Riyadh, “The 8th Japan Cup” was held at King Abdulaziz Horse Race Track in Janadriya in the evening of April 3rd.
    This annual race, regarded as one of the most important races in the kingdom, marks the end of Saudi horse race season. 17 imported horses ran for the cup this year and “Qadir”, owned by the sons of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, won the Japan Cup horse race.
    Mr. and Mrs. Kaneda, Director of Japan Racing Association(JRA), and Mr. Yasuma, Chief Representative of Hong Kong Representative Office of JRA, visited Saudi Arabia and watched the race. The track witnessed many Japanese residents in Saudi Arabia including H.E. Mr. and Mrs. Nakamura, Ambassador of Japan to Saudi Arabia.

    The 8th Japan Cup Horse Racing Inside the horse race building
    The winning horse “Qadir”, Ambassador Nakamura(the left end), Mr.Kaneda(second from the left) Inside the horse race building, Mr, Zenaidy,GM of the Riyadh Equestrian Club(center),Mr.and Mrs.Kaneda(right side),Ambassador and Mrs.Nakamura(left side)

    Mr. Yasutoshi Nishimura, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, visited Saudi Arabia

    Mr. Yasutoshi Nishimura, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Riyadh) from February 28 to March 1, 2009. During the visit, Mr. Nishimura exchanged views on different issues, ranging from bilateral issues to the international and regional affairs with HRH Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman, Assistant Minister for Oil and Mineral Resources, HE Dr. Bandar bin Mohammed Al-Aiban, Chairman of the Saudi Human Rights Commission and HRH Prince Faisal bin Salman, Chairperson of Saudi Research and Marketing Group. Mr. Nishimura also visited Higher Institute for Plastics Fabrication which is one of the symbolic projects for Japan- Saudi industrial cooperation.

    Mr. Yasutoshi Nishimura, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, visited Saudi Arabia
    (Picture: Al-Eqtisadiah Newspaper)

    H.E. Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister's Special Envoy visited Saudi Arabia (January 26th to 27th)

    H.E. Mr. Shinzo Abe, Former Prime Minister visited Riyadh as a Prime Minister's Special Envoy from January 26th to 27th. During his stay, H.E. Mr. Abe participated in "The 3rd Global Competitiveness Forum" hosted by Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) as a keynote speaker. He stressed, in the Forum, upon the importance of "innovation" to overcome the current financial crisis. H.E. Mr. Abe also discussed with H.E. Mr. Amr Abdullah M.A. Dabbagh, Governor of SAGIA on how to strengthen the bilateral relationship while handing over the Japanese Prime Minister's letter for the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to H.E. Governor. In addition, H.E. Mr. Abe met with HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah, Advisor to the King in a friendly atmosphere and also visited the Higher Institute for Plastic Fabrication. H.E. Mr. Abe visited the Kingdom in April 2007 as Prime Minister.

    Go to HE Mr. Abe's Speech at the Forum

    H.E. Mr. Abe delivers his keynote speech at the 3rd Global Competitiveness Forum Meeting with H.E. Mr. Dabbagh, SAGIA Governor
    H.E. Mr. Abe delivers his keynote speech at the 3rd Global Competitiveness Forum Meeting with H.E. Mr. Dabbagh, SAGIA Governor

    The first air of Japanese Animation "Doraemon the Movie-Nobita's Dinosaur 2006

    The Embassy of Japan held the first air of Japanese Animation film "Doraemon-the movie Nobita's Dinosaur 2006" in the evening on January 8th at King Fahd Cultural Center in Riyadh. The Main Hall of the Center witnessed 1,000 audiences, including a young prince of Saudi Royal family, conservative women and children, as well as diplomats in Riyadh. This movie show, which ended successfully, was a first attempt to introduce the Japanese Animation, and "Doraemon", Japanese Animation Ambassador to Saudi local society.

    ©Al-Riyadh newspaper on January 10th