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Embassy's Highlights 2010

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Foreign Minister’s Commendation for 2010

This year, the Foreign Minister’s Commendation is awarded to the Japanese Language Unit, College of Languages and Translation, King Saud University in appreciation for its contribution to the spread of Japanese language education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

On this occasion, the Embassy of Japan held commemorative award ceremony for the Foreign Minister’s Commendation for 2010 to the Japanese Language Unit, at the residence of H.E. Mr. Shigeru Endo, the Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom, on October 27th, 2010.

The Foreign Minister’s Commendations are awarded to individuals and groups of outstanding achievements in international fields, to acknowledge their contribution to the promotion of friendly relations between Japan and other countries. The commendation also aims to promote the understanding and support of the Japanese Public for their activities.

Since its establishment in 1994, the Japanese Language Unit of King Saud University has contributed to the spread of Japanese language education and the development of human resources in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the only one institute in the Gulf countries which offers a bachelor’s program in Japanese language. Graduates from the Japanese Language Unit are now bridging the promotion of friendship between Japan and Saudi Arabia in the area of governmental organizations as well as private companies. Furthermore, the students of the Japanese language Unit organized one group called “Sakura Mamlaka” with their colleagues and conduct many cultural activities to promote mutual understanding between both friendly peoples of Japan and Saudi Arabia.

Ceremony for awarding the Japanese FM’s commendation H.E. Mr. Shigeru Endo, Ambassador of Japan and Dr. Faris Shihab, Associate professor of Japanese language unit, King Saud University receiving Commendation Certificate.

Japanese Cultural Event at Princess Nora Bint Abdul Rahman University

The Embassy of Japan held a 2-day Japanese cultural event at the Princess Nora Bint Abdul Rahman University on October 26th and 27th, 2010 in cooperation with the Japanese Women’s Association in Riyadh.

On the first day, H.H. Princess AlJawhara bint Fahd Al-Saud, Rector of the Princess Nora University made an opening remark, followed by H.E. Mr. Shigeru Endo, Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Dr. Asma Abumalik, Dean of Languages and Translation, Princess Nora University, and a representative of the students at the university. After the speech, volunteers from the Japanese Women’s Association in Riyadh demonstrated how to make Origami (Japanese traditional folk art of paper folding) and Onigiri (Japanese traditional rice ball) and then, introduced brief conversations in Japanese language. More than 350 students participated in the workshop of Origami, Onigiri and Japanese language that followed and experienced a variety of interesting aspects of the Japanese traditional culture. At the end of the first day program, student volunteers introduced the Japanese traditional wedding style in Japanese language and impressed the Japanese volunteers with an excellent presentation.

Students tried the traditional Onigiri-making with the support of Japanese volunteers Japanese volunteers demonstrated how to make Origami Origami handiwork by the students

On the second day, after the speech of Mrs. Masako Endo, Wife of the Japanese Ambassador to the Kingdom and Dr. Asma Abumalik, Dean of the Faculty of Languages and Translation, Mrs. Endo demonstrated a procedure of making Japanese traditional tea (Tea Ceremony), at a small Japanese-style tea room installed in the venue, followed by the Kimono (Japanese traditional dress)-wearing presentation conducted by the Japanese volunteers, in front of academic staffs and students of the university. Following this demonstration, more than 350 students participated in the workshop of tea ceremony and the trial fitting of Kimono and Yukata (Japanese traditional summer dress) and enjoyed their new experience of Japanese traditional culture very much. At the end of the program students volunteers introduced how to make Arabic coffee with a well prepared power point presentation.

The two-day event encouraged cultural exchange between Japanese and Saudi women very much.

Demonstration of Japanese traditional tea ceremony by Mrs. Endo Presentation of Kimono-wearing by Japanese volunteers Students tried Japanese traditional tea making

Ambassador Endo to visit Eastern Province

Ambassador Endo visited Eastern Province from October 8th to 10th, 2010. During his visit, Ambassador Endo met with executives of Japanese companies stationed in the Province in a friendly atmosphere.

On October 9, Ambassador, Mr. Salim S. Al-Aydh, Senior Vice-President of Engineering and Project Management, Saudi Aramco and other guests participated in the Ceremony for the Commencement of Construction Work of J-Power Systems Saudi Company Limited held at a hotel in Al-Khobar.

J-Power Systems Saudi Company, Group photo with participants at the ceremony Ambassador Endo (left), Mr. Salim S. Al-Aydh, Senior Vice President of Saudi Aramco (Right)

Cup of Japanese Ambassador Awarded

The Embassy of Japan awarded the Cup of Japanese Ambassador to the Saudi participants in the Kingdom’s open Karate tournament “No.35, Cup of the President of Youth Welfare”, which was held in Riyadh from 9th to 10th June, 2010.  The cup of Japanese Ambassador went to the top four Saudi Karate winners in the open weight category of this tournament. 

An Award of the Japanese Ambassador’s Cup aims to give strong incentive to the Saudi Karate players, including the top 4 winners, to exert more effort and to continue their Karate trainings.  Moreover, this event became an important step towards further enhancing the Japan-Saudi relationship in the sports field.

Cup of Japanese Ambassador was awarded
by H.E. Mr. Shigeru Endo, Japanese Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Commemorative Photograph with the Winners of the Cup of Japanese Ambassador

Exchange and Cooperation with Women’s University in Riyadh

●Japan participates in the “Activity Day” at the Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University

The Embassy of Japan participated in the cultural event “Activity Day” held at the female section of Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University on May 10th, 2010 and introduced Japanese culture to the female students. While introducing their excellent graduation projects, the students of Imam University sold their handmade accessories and sweets to the participants in the event.  The Embassy of Japan presented Japanese calligraphy and Origami demonstration at the Japanese booth while providing fitting session of Japanese traditional wear Kimono in order to raise students’ interest in Japanese traditional culture.  Japanese booth was filled up with more than 100 visiting students in one day.

●Japan participates in the “Research Day” at Prince Sultan University (PSU)

The Embassy of Japan participated in the educational event “Research Day” held at the female section of Prince Sultan University on May 23rd, 2010.  It is the first event ever held in the university, where major Saudi universities such as King Saud University and King Abdullah City for Science and Technology (KACST) participated to provide information to the students who wish to continue their research at postgraduate schools inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and abroad.  Japanese booth received more than 70 students who are interested in the Japanese government (Monbukagakusho) scholarship as well as learning Japanese language here in the Kingdom.


The 9th Japan Cup Horse Racing

On Friday, 26 March 2010,“The 9th Japan Cup” was held at King Abdulaziz Horse Race Track in Janadriyah, Riyadh. This annual race was started in 2002 as one of the biggest races in Saudi Arabia, its importance emerges as it is the last race in the Saudi horse race season ,and is being an exchange for the cup presented by King Abdullah when he was then the crown prince, to Japan Racing Association (JRA) which hosts “The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Equestering Cup” in Japan every year from 1999.

16 horses ran for the cup this year and “Borj Alkuwait”, owned by a Kuwaiti Mr. Ahmed Soroor, won the 9th Japan Cup in Saudi Arabia. Mr. Hayashi Director of JRA in Japan and Mr. Matsuo, Chief Representative of Hong Kong Representative Office of JRA, visited Saudi Arabia and watched the race. Many Japanese residents in Saudi Arabia including Mr. and Mrs. Iwai, Japanese Chargé d’affaires to Saudi Arabia enjoyed watching the race as well.

The 9th Japan Cup Horse Racing On the Race track
Mr.Hayashi and Mr.Zenaidy(GM of the Riyadh Equestrian Club) Mr.Ahmed Soroor with the Winner’s Cup (Mr.Hayashi on his right, Mr.Iwai on his left)

School Visit

●Japan Participates in the “International Day” at King Saud International School

The Embassy of Japan participated in the cultural event “International Day” held at the King Saud International School on March 25th, 2010 to introduce Japanese tradition and culture to the students. Students from 4th to 12th grade mainly organized this event, setting up booths for 12 countries and regions including Japan.  Exhibitors introduced their own cultures at their booths, showing their handicrafts as well as providing their brochures to the students.  The Embassy staffs demonstrated Japanese calligraphy at the Japanese booth, writing students’ names in Japanese on Japanese writing paper with an ink brush.  Students who visited the Japanese booth showed their great interest in Japanese calligraphy, when they saw their names written in Japanese for the first time.  

Japanese booth Students showing their interest in Japanese calligraphy


●Japan Participates in the “2nd International Day” at King Faisal School

The Embassy of Japan participated in the “2nd International Day” held at the King Faisal School on March 31st, 2010 to introduce Japanese tradition and culture to the students. This event aimed at promoting the students’ understanding on different cultures in other countries.  On the day, exhibitors introduced their own cultures, showing their traditional handicrafts and foods, in the gymnastic hall where 19 booths were set up from different countries and regions including Japan.  The Embassy of Japan introduced the Japanese traditional toys such as Darumaotoshi, Kendama and Hagoita to the students in cooperation with Saudi student volunteers of the school.  Though the students had some difficulties in using these toys at first, they finally got used to and enjoyed them very much, competing with their friends over their skills.

Saudi students trying Taketonbo Saudi students learning how to use Japanese chopsticks

Japan Participates in the Riyadh International Book Fair

The Embassy of Japan participated in the Riyadh International Book Fair hosted by the Ministry of Culture and Information, Saudi Arabia, during the period from March 2nd to 10th, 2010 in Riyadh.  This event received more than 2 million visitors for 10 days, in which more than 366 governmental organizations and private book sellers from 22 countries including Japan and Saudi Arabia participated. 

The Embassy of Japan displayed nearly 400 books on Japan written in Japanese, English and Arabic at the Japanese booth while presenting Origami demonstration in cooperation with the students of Japanese language unit of King Saud University.  The number of visitors to the Japanese booth reached more than 3,000 people for the 10 days.

Moreover, Mr. Takeshi Urayama, Tokyo Denki University, visited Riyadh to give a lecture on “the publishing culture and digitalization in Japan” at the Riyadh Literary Club during the book fair.  After his lecture, Mr. Urayama had a questions-and-answers session with more than 60 participants in his lecture, explaining details of the publishing culture in Japan as well as the structure of Japanese language.

Japanese booth at the Riyadh International Book Fair Lecture by Mr. Takeshi Urayama at the Riyadh Literary Club

Opening Ceremony of Hitachi Riyadh Branch

On January 30, 2010, the Opening Ceremony of Hitachi Riyadh Branch was held at the Ambassador’s residence.

Over 100 people including Mr. Masao Hisada, Vice President and Executive Officer, Hitachi, LTD, Mr. M. Abdul Rahman A.Al-Jeraisy, Chairman, Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Mr. Ahmed Saeed Al-Omari, CEO, Hamad Abdulla Alessa & Sons participated in the ceremony.

Reception Speech by HE Mr.Endo Group Photo

Japan Participates in the International Exhibition for Higher Education

The Embassy of Japan participated in the International Exhibition for Higher Education held by the Ministry of Higher Education, Saudi Arabia, during the period from January 26th to 29th, 2010 in Riyadh.It is the first and the largest educational exhibition ever held in Saudi Arabia, where more than 375 educational institutes, from 33 countries including Japan and Saudi Arabia, participated in the exhibition. Their booths provided information to the students and their parents, who wish to study in universities here and abroad.

Japan dispatched 15 educational institutions (universities and Japanese language institutions), and 1 company to the exhibition. Japanese wing witnessed a high turnout of students and educationalists, who approached the Japanese wing every day. The number of visitors to the Embassy of Japan received more than 700 people during the period of exhibition. Visitors made a lot of inquiries on the Japanese government (Monbukagakusho) scholarship program, as well as the learning of Japanese language here in Saudi Arabia.

IEHE2010

Japanese Cultural Event in Riyadh Literary Club

A cultural event “Japan Day 2” co-organized by the Embassy of Japan and the Riyadh Literary Club was held in the evening of 13th and 14th January 2010 at the main theater of the Club.

On the first day, the event started with an opening speech delivered by Mr.Yoji Hattori, Head of the political section of the Embassy of Japan, and Dr. Saad Al-Bazei, Chairman of the Riyadh Literary Club. Then, Ms.Iigai, Head of the cultural section in the Embassy of Japan, gave an introduction on the educational cooperation between Japan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, followed by Dr. Shihab Faris, Associate Professor of the Department of Asian Languages and Translation in King Saud University, who delivered a lecture on Japanese school education. After the lecture, a Japanese movie “A Class to Remember” was shown to the audience.

On the next day, “Sakura Mamlaka”, a group of Saudi young people who have interest in Japanese language and culture, presented their activities. Then, traditional Japanese games, such as top spinning, Japanese Badminton and rice-cake making were introduced to Saudi children, and Mr. Tariq al-Khawaji, a specialist in Japanese literature and anime, gave a lecture on Japanese Anime. At the end of the event, a Japanese movie “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” was shown to the audience.

The number of audience reached about 500 on both days of the event, and it was very successful.

Lecture by Dr.Faris Japanese movie show Introduction of Japanese traditional games Lecture by Mr.Tariq
Lecture by Dr.Faris Japanese movie show Introduction of Japanese traditional games Lecture by Mr.Tariq

Conferment of JICA Presidential Award for 2009

On January 5, 2010, the JICA presidential Award for 2009 was conferred to Dr. Ali Al Ghafis, Governor, Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC), in appreciation of his contribution in promoting the Saudi-Japanese technical cooperation sponsored by JICA in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Ambassador Endo presented testimonial and a memorial gift to the Governor on behalf of JICA president Ms. Sadako Ogata.

Over 40 people including Vice Governor and advisors (TVTC), principals of each institute of SJAHI, HIPF and SEHAI, as well as Japanese experts in the institutes, participated in the ceremony at the ambassador’s residence.

JICA Award
(left)Mr. Ryuichi TOMIZAWA, JICA resident representative (center) Ambassador Endo (right) Ali Al Ghafis, governor, TVTC

Lecture by Nikken Sekkei

On January 4, 2010, Mr. Mitsuo NAKAMURA, Chairman, Nikken Sekkei LTD, visited the Ambassador’s residence to give a lecture on energy conservation technology in architecture.

About 30 audience participated in the lecture followed by a vigorous Q&A session and exchange of opinions.

Nikken Sekkei
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