2017 Emperor’s Birthday Reception

On the 29th of November, a reception celebrating the birthday of His Majesty the Emperor was held in the grounds of the Ambassador’s Residence. This year’s reception saw attendance by around 800 guests, including Senator Catryna Bilyk, Senator Brian Burston, Senator Peter Georgiou, Senator Bridget McKenzie, and One Nation Party Leader Pauline Hanson, along with various federal government related individuals, ambassadors, academics, Japanese company affiliates, and representatives from the Japanese community.

In his speech, Ambassador Kusaka, in addition to expressing gratitude to the Japanese corporations that cooperated in setting up exhibitions of their wares at the reception, spoke about how the concept of the Indo-Pacific has come of age. This concept was detailed in the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy” advocated by Prime Minister Abe last year.  In regards to Japan-Australia relations, Ambassador Kusaka spoke of the cooperation between both countries to realise the TPP11, which will bring about the development of growth in this region for the future, along with deepening new forms of cooperation in the field of economics.  Moreover, as this year marks the 60th anniversary of the Japan-Australia Commerce Agreement, Ambassador Kusaka spoke of the attendance of a commemorative reception in August of this year by Prime Minister Turnbull, along with former prime ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott. Ambassador Kusaka also noted the good personal relationship that had developed between Prime Ministers Abe and Turnbull, and expressed his delight at how student exchange programs between both governments, various personal exchanges, and working holiday systems had allowed personal ties between the younger generation of both countries, who hold the future of Japan-Australia relations in their hands, to deepen. (Full text of Ambassador Kusaka’s speech)       
 
This year’s reception saw corporate exhibitions in the grounds of the residence along with demonstrations of Shorinji Kempo and Judo by staff members.  Guests were able to enjoy the atmosphere in the residence gardens, and as a result of various stalls offering sushi, ramen, and other forms of Japanese cuisine, along with Japanese sake and other beverages, a great many guests expressed their gratitude for being invited to the event.
 

Ambassador Kusaka delivering his speech
 


Ambassador Kusaka proposing a toast
 

Performance of both national anthems by
Able Seaman Mark Nivet from the RAN Band

 


Ambassador and Madam Kusaka in conversation with guests at the Japanese sake taste-testing stall
 

Demonstration of Shorinji Kempo
 

Demonstration of Judo
 

Guests engaged in conversation in the gardens of the Ambassador’s Residence