jp_ambIt is a great honour and pleasure for me to welcome you all to the Japan Festival of Wellington 2018, so soon after my arrival to New Zealand as Ambassador of Japan. I am very happy to be in New Zealand participating in this event.

Japan and New Zealand have already been enjoying such a strong and friendly relationship, which I expect will flourish even more in the upcoming years. The Rugby World Cup will be held in Japan next year, and the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in the following year. Through these events, I sincerely hope to strengthen even more these warm ties our two countries already have.

Past Japan Festivals were very popular and successful in introducing Japanese culture to the people of Wellington. Japan Festival Wellington 2018 follows those marvellous experiences.

I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the Wellington City Council for all of their support organising this event, and also to the members of the Japan Festival Trust, whose hard work and dedication for preparing this Festival was invaluable. It is hard to believe that they achieved this much in their very first year!

The Japan Festival of Wellington will offer you Japanese food, music, performance and much more of the Japanese culture. It will introduce the various characteristics of Japan and its people. There is surely something everyone can enjoy. I strongly hope for the success of Japan Festival Wellington 2018. Let’s enjoy this festival together!