On the 18th
of October 2023, the Embassy of Japan held a ‘Self-Defense Force Day Reception’ for the first time in four years. The reception commemorates the formation of the Japan Self-Defense Force. Invitees include members of the Australian Defence Force, security and defence-related individuals including Australian politicians, high-level officials from the Department of Defence and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, ambassadors, high commissioners and defence attaches from other countries as well as academics. The reception aims to contribute to the further strengthening of the relationship between Japan and Australia.
At this year’s reception, following performances of both nations’ anthems and a speech by Ambassador SUZUKI, General Angus Campbell, Chief of the Defence Force, gave an address as the Guest of Honour (Ambassador SUZUKI’s speech can be read here
The reception was also combined with a conferral ceremony for former Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Michael Noonan AO RAN (Rtd). While guests attending the reception looked on, Vice Admiral Noonan received the Order of the Rising Sun as a 2023 awards recipient for his exemplary contribution to deepening Japan-Australia defence ties.
In order to communicate Japan’s highly technologically capable defence equipment, the reception also featured booths set up by Japanese defence-related companies, featuring scale models, pamphlets and direct conversation between guests and corporate representatives.
And so under balmy late Spring skies in the Ambassador’s Residence Garden, many guests were able to enjoy a sushi making performance by the Ambassador’s personal chef and sake while also simultaneously deepening both their mutual relations and their understanding of Japan.
(A mini-documentary which captures the reception and Chef Takami's activities was broadcast on Japanese TV. It is available for viewing here