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Embassy's Highlights 2015

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Ceremony of Decoration of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette upon Professor Shihab Faris, Professor of Japanese Language Program at King Saud University

On 12th of December, 2015, the Ambassador of Japan to Saudi Arabia, Mr. Norihiro Okuda, held a ceremony of the Conferral of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette upon Professor Shihab Faris, Professor of Japanese Language Program at King Saud University.

The Government of Japan announced recipients of the 2015 Autumn Imperial Decorations on 3rd of November, 2015. Among the 89 foreign recipients is Professor Faris, in recognition of his significant contribution to promoting development of Japanese language education and research and mutual understanding between Japan and the Middle East, especially in Saudi Arabia.


The 8th Japanese Language Speech Contest

On December 12th, 2015, the Embassy of Japan, in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Information, held the 8th Japanese Language Speech Contest at Japanese Ambassador's Residence in Riyadh as part of the commemoration for 60th Anniversary of the establishment of Japan-Saudi Arabia diplomatic relationship.

13 male and female participants from all over Saudi Arabia conducted their speeches in Japanese language. The given topics of the speech were ‘Japan and Saudi Arabia’ and ‘Japan that I love’.


Japan-Saudi Business Catalog Show

Japan-Saudi Business Catalog Show was held at the Asharqia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) from 8th to 9th, December 2015. 40 Japanese companies and about 200 guests joined this event. It was one of the largest among the similar events which were held by ACCI.


25th Anniversary of Saudi-Japan Symposium

On 6th December, a reception celebrating 25th Anniversary of Saudi-Japan Symposium was held in Alkhobar. Rector of King Fahad University for Petroleum and Minerals, KFUPM, President of The Japan Petroleum Institute , Senior Executive Director, Japan Cooperation Center, Petroleum, JCCP and H.E. the Ambassador of Japan to Saudi Arabia, Mr. Norihiro Okuda attended the celebration. The symposium is held annually and researchers from both Japan and Saudi Arabia in the field of refining and petro chemicals join and share the outcome of their activities.


Embassy of Japan Celebrated National Day

On 3rd of December, H.E. Mr. Norihiro Okuda, Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, hosted the National Day Reception to celebrate the 82nd birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, Akihito. H.R.H. Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Governor of Riyadh, and many Saudi government officials and guests from different sectors as well as representatives from diplomatic corps attended the reception held at Ambassador’s residence.

Every year the Embassy of Japan holds various cultural events to introduce modern and traditional Japanese culture on the occasion of National Day. This year, Mr. Masataka Hosoo, displayed some of his works of Nishijin-ori, textile which is woven using traditional artistic technique developed in the ancient capital, Kyoto, ant it was well received among Saudi and foreign guests.


Japanese Innovative Textile - Presentation by Mr. Masataka Hosoo at ASI

On December 2, in cooperation with Arts and Skills Institute (ASI), the Embassy of Japan invited Mr. Masataka Hosoo of HOSOO Co., LTD, to Saudi Arabia and held an exhibition with short lecture of Nishijin-ori – Japanese traditional textile which has more than 1000 years history, at L’Art Pur Gallery.

His company HOSOO has woven the luxurious textile for more than 300 years, and now it has been collaborating with luxury fashion brands such as Dior, CHANEL and GUCCI etc, introducing the Japanese traditional craftsmanship into the world. Businessmen and artists enjoyed such quality of the artisanal fabrics with a presentation by Mr. Hosoo.

For this occasion, Mr. Hosoo presented a specially-made Nisijin fabric with ASI’s Saudi-motif to H.H. Princess Adwa Bint Yazeed Al-Saud as memorial cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Japan – the 60th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relation between the two countries.


Budo Session at Riyadh Japanese School

On November 15, representatives of Japan Budo Delegation visited Riyadh Japanese School and had a special session of Sumo and Kendo for the students. In Sumo lecture, students learned the manner such as Sonkyo and Chirichozu and technique through the experience. In Kendo lecture, in cooperation with local Kendo Club members, students enjoyed the art of sword and recognized the importance of discipline and manners.


Budo Demonstration and Workshop at Olympic Complex

On 13th November, at Prince Faisal bin Fahd Olympic Complex, Japanese Budo Delegation of Nippon Budokan held Budo Demonstration in celebration of the Japan-Saudi Arabia 60th anniversary. Under the auspices of the General Presidency of Youth Welfare, Saudi Karate Federation, Judo Federation and Archery Federation, the Delegation project has culminated in this big exhibition for the Saudi public. The audience appreciated the quintessence of Japanese Budo, the core of Japanese Culture. After the exhibition, audiences did experience the Japanese culture with its manners through workshop of each martial art.


Budo Exhibition at Al-Tarbiya Al-Namouthajiya School

On November 12, Japan Budo Delegation of Nippon Budokan visited Al-Tarbiya Namouthajiya School in Riyadh and held a Budo exhibition with a workshop as part of the commemorative events of the 60th anniversary of Japan-Saudi Arabia diplomatic relation. The school has been enthusiastic about introducing Japanese Budo to the education as it boasts a renowned Karate Club. On that occasion, more than 80 students of the Club performed Kata of Karate in gratitude for the masters’ performance. A student expressed how impressive it was and remarked about his resolution to practice even harder toward Tokyo Olympic 2020.


Budo Exhibition at King Fahd Security College

On November 11, Japan Budo (Martial Arts) Delegation of Nippon Budokan visited King Fahd Security College in Riyadh and held a Budo exhibition as part of the commemorative events of the 60th anniversary of Japan-Saudi Arabia diplomatic relation. More than 60 masters of 11 martial arts exhibited the quintessence of their acquirements to the audience.

An officer of the college mentioned that the college wishes to introduce not only the technique of self-defense but also the spirit of discipline and manner, which are fundamental to Budo, more and more.


Embassy of Japan held the Briefing Session of Studying in Japan for SABIC Scholarship Program students

On October 1, 2015, the Embassy of Japan in Saudi Arabia held the Briefing Session of Studying in Japan with SABIC for five high school graduates who will be sent to Japan under SABIC scholarship soon. The SABIC counterparts and students praised that they learnt a lot from the informative session, and the students are now excited for the approaching departure. The Embassy of Japan has been enthusiastic to support Saudi students who wish to study in Japan and it appreciates the SABIC’s cooperation and contribution to the relationship between the two countries.


Ambassador Okuda and his wife hosted a Ramadan Iftar

On 2nd July, H.E. Ambassador of Japan Mr. Norihiro Okuda and his wife hosted a Ramadan Iftar for former Saudi students in Japan at the Ambassador’s Residence. The participants renewed their friendship and exchanged their opinions about future relationship between Japan and KSA.


An Awarding Ceremony for the 8th International Manga Award

On June 24, an awarding ceremony was held at the Embassy of Japan in Riyadh for Ms. Amani Badran, a Jordanian national, the Bronze Award winner of the 8th International MANGA Award. On her behalf, her brother Mr. Ayman Badran attended the ceremony. HE Ambassador Mr. Norihiro Okuda conferred a testimonial on Mr. Badran in honor of Ms. Amani’s award-winning work ’13:05’ and offered the congratulations on his sister’s accomplishment.


Embassy of Japan celebrates the Self-Defence Force Day

On 4th June, H.E. the Ambassador of Japan to Saudi Arabia, Mr. Norihiro Okuda hosted the reception celebrating Japanese Self-Defense Force (JSDF) Day at the Ambassador’s residence. VIPs, Saudi officials and diplomats in Riyadh attended the celebration. The guests appreciated Self-Defense Force’s efforts for international security.


12th Graduation Ceremony of Saudi Japanese Automobile High Institute (SJAHI)

On 26th May 2015, the 12th batch graduation ceremony for 208 students was held at the SJAHI. SJAHI provides job-oriented technical training for young Saudis having a zest for working in the automobile engineering and maintenance field with a distinct perspective in Japanese Automobiles from 2002.

H.E. Mr. Mohammad bin Ahmed Al Wafi, Deputy Governor of Jeddah, on behalf of HRH Prince Mishal bin Majed, Governor of Jeddah, H.E. Mr. Norihiro Okuda, Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mr. Matahiro Yamaguchi, Consul-General of Japan in Jeddah, Mr. Salim H. Al Asmarei, Director of SJAHI and many other guests, including Ministry of Trade and Industry in Japan and Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc., attended the ceremony and congratulated the graduates. For excellent students, H.E. Mr. Mohammad handed them with commemorative gifts.

The Embassy of Japan would like to congratulate all the graduates and wish them continued success.


Japanese Ambassador's Cup of Judo 2015

On 8th May 2015, Kingdom’s Judo Championships took place at the Olympic committee-affiliated Gymnasium in Public Security Center, under the auspices of Saudi Arabian Judo Federation, General Presidency of Youth Welfare and the Japanese Embassy. The Championships consist of Self Defense Show Championship and Kingdom’s Championship for Kata on Japanese Ambassador’s Cup. HE Ambassador of Japan Mr. Norihiro Okuda awarded prizes to the winners.


Japanese Ambassador's Cup of Karate 2015

On 25th April 2015, Saudi Arabian Karate Federation, General Presidency of Youth Welfare and the Japanese Embassy organized a Karate competition "Japanese Ambassador's Cup," and HE Ambassador of Japan Mr. Norihiro Okuda awarded prizes to the winners. The competition takes place annually in cooperation between the Federation and the Embassy.


Abaya Competition 2015

On 22nd April, with the presence of H.H. Princess Adwa Bint Yazeed Al Saud, the awarding ceremony of Abaya Competition 2015 was held in the Arts and Skills Institute (ASI) with the collaboration of UTIC Co., Ltd. (Headquarter: Fukui Prefecture in Japan) as a part of the one year-long celebration of the 60th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Japan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Mrs. Keiko Okuda, wife of H.E.Mr. Norihiro Okuda, Ambassador of Japan to Saudi Arabia, participated in this event as a jury, and attended the awarding ceremony. Mrs. Okuda presented the award to the winner of the prize of Embassy of Japan.

In her speech, Mrs. Okuda stated, “I am very proud that our cooperation with Saudi Arabia has been strengthened in the field of fashion and arts. This event actually shows a wonderful collaboration of Japan and Saudi Arabia, in a sense that Abaya “the Saudi folklore” is made by the Japanese fabrics.”

On this occasion, the Embassy of Japan opened a cultural booth of introducing Japanese Kimonos. Visitors to the Abaya Competition enjoyed the display of Japanese traditional costumes along with the several booths at the event.


Ambassador Okuda submitted a letter of credence to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques

On 22 April 2015, Ambassador Okuda submitted his letter of credence to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud at Al-Yamamah Palace.

The audience was attended by Crown Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Premier; Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Crown Prince, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior; Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Defense, Chief of the Royal Court and Special Adviser to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques; and a number of officials.


Introduction of Japanese Culture at the 14th Japan Cup at Riyadh Equestrian Club

On 4th of April, 14th Japan Cup was held in King Abdulaziz Horse Race Course in Janadriyah. The race was organized by Riyadh Equestrian Club with the support of Japan Racing Association (JRA). Chargés d’Affaires of the Embassy of Japan, Mr. Katsuhiko Takahashi, attended the awarding ceremony.

On this occasion, the Embassy of Japan set up a cultural booth to introduce Japanese calligraphy (Shodo) and Japanese paper folding (Origami). Family visitors to the Japan Cup enjoyed Japanese traditional culture and they even learned how to write their name in Japanese (Katakana) and how to fold the shapes including shape of horse.


Participation in the Riyadh International Book Fair 2015

During 4-14th March, the Embassy of Japan participated in the Riyadh International Book Fair 2015. Variety of Japanese books was displayed at the Japan booth and students of Japanese language section of King Saud University made Japanese calligraphy demonstration during the fair.


Ms. Aya Suzuki, Japanese Animator’s visit to Riyadh (Dispatching Program for Japanese Culture Specialists from Japan Foundation Overseas Office)

From March 4th to 10th, Ms. Aya Suzuki, Japanese Animator visited Riyadh on the scheme of Dispatching Program for Japanese Culture Specialists from Japan Foundation Overseas Office. The Embassy of Japan held lectures and demonstration on creation of Japanese Animation in cooperation with Ms. Suzuki.

Many participants joined the events and actively interacted with each other during this occasion. The lectures areceived high recognition and good comments from the audiences.


Participation in International Day in King Faisal School

On March 5th, the Embassy of Japan in Riyadh participated in “the 7th Annual International Day” at the King Faisal School. The Embassy exhibited Japanese traditional and modern culture at the event, working together with King Faisal School’s students to welcome many guests at the Japan Booth. Japanese calligraphy (Shodo) and Japanese paper work (Origami) demonstrated by the Embassy staff attracted many visitors. The Japan booth also displayed Japanese pop-culture such as Manga and Anime which have been widely popular among young Saudis. Furthermore, a variety of Japanese Sushi was served for the guests and they enjoyed Japanese taste. This International Day gave students and guests a chance to learn the traditions and culture of Japan.


Participation in “International Peace Day” in Riyadh Schools

On March 3rd, the Embassy of Japan in Riyadh participated in the “International Peace Day” event held at the Riyadh Schools. The Riyadh Schools were founded in 1969 and the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz is Honorary President. Culture and Education Section of the Embassy exhibited Japanese traditional and modern culture at the event. In particular, Japanese calligraphy (Shodo) demonstrated by Japanese diplomat attracted many students and they were very delighted to receive their names in Japanese language (Katakana). The students enjoyed the diverse aspects of Japanese culture such as Japanese traditional garment (Happi) and Japanese comics (Manga) exhibited by the Embassy.


Japanese Short Films Festival

The Embassy of Japan in Riyadh, in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Information, held a Japanese Short Films Festival at the residence of the Japanese Ambassador on February 28, 2015. Five films were screened for the first time in Saudi Arabia. Audiences enjoyed watching the films with high appreciation because of their well-written stories and clear representation of Japanese culture and tradition.

In the opening ceremony, Chargés d’Affaires, Mr. Katsuhiko Takahashi expressed his gratitude to the Ministry of Culture and Information for its support. Furthermore, Mr. Seigo Tono, festival director of Short Shorts Film Festival in Japan who made visit to Riyadh solely for this event, gave a detailed explanation on each film.


The Photo Exhibition of Japanese Modern Architecure “Kumamoto Artpolis”

The Embassy of Japan in cooperation with Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) opened the photo exhibition of Japanese modern architecture “Kumamoto Artpolis” at National Museum in Riyadh (from January 21 to February 4) and at Damman University in Damman (from February 15 to 19). “Kumamoto” is the name of prefecture located in the west of Japan, on the island of Kyushu. An architectural movement called “Kumamoto Artpolis” started in 1988 by the initiative of the Governor of Kumamoto at that time, Mr. Morihiro Hosokawa, who later became Prime Minister of Japan in 1993. This exhibition aims to introduce not only the modern architecture itself, but also the life style of Japanese people with constructions such as houses, schools, police stations and even public toilet.


Announcement of Winners for the Eighth International MANGA Award

The International MANGA Award is hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to honor MANGA artists who have contributed to the promotion of MANGA overseas. There were 317 entries from 46 countries and regions this year.

Following the first selection carried out with the assistance of the Association of MANGA Publishers, the Jury of the Award led by Ms. Machiko Satonaka (Manga artist) made strict and fair judgment. As a result of the judgment, the Executive Committee of the Award chose a total of 15 winners, one Gold Award work three Silver Award works and eleven Bronze Award works including ‘Another World, It Exists’, written by Sukinah Al-Sadah (SaKoos SHS).
The applicant from Mongolia won the Gold Award this year. He is the first-ever winner of the International Manga Award from Mongolia.

On February 12, a ceremony for the Eighth International MANGA Award held in Tokyo to grant Gold and Silver Awards to the works below.

‘Another World, It Exists’, by Sukinah Al-Sadah (SaKoos SHS), Saudi Female manga writer got the Bronze award. This is the very first prize awarded to Arab writers in the international Manga award which has already held 8 times.
The Embassy of Japan would like to express our sincere appreciation and congratulation for her activity, and will hold awarding ceremony for her at the beginning of March.

Winners

(1) Gold Award
   Title of Work: Bumbardai
   Artist: Mr. Nambaral Erdenebayar (Mongolia)

(2) Silver Award
   Title of Work: Mr. Bear
   Artist: Ms. Luo mu (China)

   Title of Work: ATAN
   Artist: Mr. Ben Wong (Malaysia)

   Title of Work: Room
   Artist: Ms. 61Chi (Taiwan)