Attendance at the Memorial Service to Commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Japanese Air Raid on Broome

Memorial events were held on the 2nd and 3rd of March in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Japanese air raid on Broome. These events were attended by Mr. Tatsuo Hirayama, Consul-General of Japan in Perth and Mr. Takashi Katae, Minister at the Embassy of Japan in Australia. This was the first time representatives from Japan have been invited to a service to commemorate the air raid on Broome.

1. The Memorial Service to Commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Japanese Air Raid on Broome

The 75th Anniversary Memorial Service held in the morning of the 3rd of March was attended by the Hon. Colin Barnett MLA, Premier of Western Australia; Councillor Ron Johnston, Broome Shire President; the Hon. Mark McGowan MLA, WA Leader of the Opposition; the Hon. Melissa Price MP, Federal Member for Durack; H.E. Erica Schouten, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; Mrs. Rachel Cooke, Consul-General of the United States in Perth; and Mr. Amit Kumar Mishra, Consul-General of India in Perth.
 
In his speech at the service, Minister Katae expressed Japan’s sincerest condolences for the lives lost in the war and that Japan will never forget the immeasurable damage and suffering inflicted on Broome and other parts of Australia, and vowed to never repeat the tragedy of war. Minister Katae also explained that Japan has walked along a path of a free, democratic and pacifist nation, governed by the rule of law since the end of the Second World War. Furthermore, in light of the upcoming 60th anniversary of the signing of the Japan-Australia Commerce Agreement, Minister Katae expressed his appreciation for the generosity displayed by the Australian government and Prime Minister Menzies in signing the 1957 Agreement—which went on to form the foundations of the mutually supportive economic ties between Japan and Australia— at a time when hostile feelings towards Japan were still strong Finally Minister Katae stated that he has high expectations for the future of both the Japan-WA relationship and the ties of Japan and Australia as a whole, given the recent appointment of former Western Australia Premier the Hon Richard Court AC as Australia’s next Ambassador to Japan. (Speech text)
 
Preceding the service, a reception was hosted by the Shire of Broome on the evening of the 2nd of March. As one of the speakers at the reception, Consul-General Hirayama delivered a speech about the long relationship between Broome and Japan, which started with the arrival of Japanese pearl divers. Consul-General Hirayama also communicated Japan’s stance in regards to the memorial service mentioned above and touched on the role of iron ore mining and other resources in Western Australia in the development of the strong trade and investment relationship of Japan and Australia. Moreover, Consul-General Hirayama expressed his appreciation for the value the Shire of Broome has continued to attach to its relationship with Japan, particularly as part of its overall support for multiculturalism.
 
2. Visits to Places with Connections to Japan

    (1) Japanese Cemetery
Broome’s Japanese Cemetery is the largest Japanese cemetery in Australia and the final resting place of over 900 Japanese nationals. Consul-General Hirayama and Minister Katae laid flowers on the monument commemorating the victims of the 1908 cyclone.
 
   (2) Visit to St Mary’s College
St Mary’s College was established at the start of the twentieth century owing to the cooperation of the Sisters at the original church that went on to form the college and Japanese nationals. Today, St Mary’s College has a student exchange program with its sister city, Taiji in Wakayama Prefecture. This program has continued for almost 10 years. Consul-General Hirayama and Minister Katae listened to an explanation of the exchanges from students who had been to Japan last year and spoke with representatives from the school.
 

Minister Katae and Consul-General Hirayama
laying wreaths during the Service



 

Participants after the Service, from the left, Minister Katae,
the Hon. Colin Barnett MLA, Premier of Western Australia;
H.E. Erica Schouten, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands;
the Hon. Melissa Price MP, Federal Member for Durack;
the Hon. Mark McGowan MLA, WA Leader of the Opposition;
and Mr. Amit Kumar Mishra, Consul-General of India in Perth

Minister Katae and Consul-General Hirayama
laid flowers on the monument commemorating
the victims of the 1908 cyclone





With students during a visit to
St Mary’s College, 3rd March