Ambassador Takahashi's Visit to Cowra

On the 15th and 16th of March, Ambassador Takahashi visited Cowra, NSW for the first time since his arrival as Ambassador. He attended the 2019 Cowra Festival of International Understanding to which Japan was selected to be the guest nation. He also visited local sites including the Cowra Prisoner of War Camp Site, the Cowra War Cemeteries and the Cowra Japanese Garden & Cultural Centre.

This year marks the 75th year since the Cowra breakout occurred and also the second time in the long history of the Cowra Festival of International Understanding that Japan has been chosen to be the guest nation since the festival first began in 1966.

At the festival, various Japan themed cultural events were held including a parade and many local Cowra residents participated. 

Ambassador Takahashi attended the Official Opening Dinner and gave a speech expressing his wish that the festival would further strengthen the bond between Japan and Australia as well as his gratitude to the people of Cowra for their many years of efforts towards reconciliation and friendship between the two nations during the post-war period.

 
Ambassador Takahashi givng his speech
 
Ambassador Takahashi, mayor West, Councillor Fagan and the Federal Youth Ambassadors

 

Ambassador Takahashi also participated in the first business workshop held between the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Australia and the Cowra Business Chamber and observed the carnival and parade.

A wide-range of support by a great number of Japanese businesses and community groups for this festival indicates the important position that Cowra holds in Japan-Australia ties. 

 

The business workshop
The parade
The carnival

 

After making a visit to the Cowra Prisoner of War Camp Site, Ambassador Takahashi went to the Japanese and Australian war cemeteries to lay a wreath at each site together with the Mayor of Cowra, Mr Bill West. Following the wreath laying ceremony he then visited the Cowra Japanese Garden & Cultural Centre. 
 

Laying a wreath at the Japanese War Ceremony
laying a wreath at the Australian War Cemetery
Visiting the Cowra Japanese garden & Cultural Centre

 

Cowra has played a very critical role in the post-war reconciliation between Japan and Australia. On the occasion of the 75th year anniversary of the Cowra breakout, the Embassy of Japan will continue to work towards further strengthening Japan’s friendly relationship with Cowra.