Event Reports

2021/10/28

Event Reports 2022

Virtus Oceania Asia Games 2022

   
  

On November 9, the Consul-General and Consulate staff were thrilled to attend the men's basketball finals between Japan and Australia at the Virtus Oceania Asia Games 2022. After an intense match of close competition, Australia emerged victorious, with Japan taking home the silver medal. Congratulations to both teams for your fighting spirit, strong sportsmanship, and embodying the spirit of the OA Games, which celebrates diversity through sport. You can find out more about the Virtus Games and watch highlights and replays by visiting: https://oagames2022.org/

Visit to the Queensland State Archives

   

The Consul-General and consulate staff visited the Queensland State Archives on November 1, where they got a behind the scenes look at the important work conducted by QSA. This included viewing original letters written by the Consul of Japan in Townsville to the Queensland State Government in 1899, documents allowing the release of pearl divers from detention during WWII, and "chomp", a partially eaten book showing the value of preservation. Thank you to Queensland State Archivist Louise Howard and QSA staff for your warm welcome!

Visit to Bowen and the Whitsunday region

Consul-General ONO recently visited Bowen and the Whitsunday region to call in on the Japanese agricultural trainees who are living and working in Bowen as part of the Japan Agricultural Exchange Council program. The 11 trainees have the opportunity to study English at TAFE, and work on local farms to learn about Australian farming techniques and share knowledge of our respective agricultural industries. The trip was most informative and educational, with visits to Eden Lassie Agave Farm, Marto’s Mangoes, and Koorelah Farms.

Consul-General ONO also paid a courtesy call on Cr Julie Hall, Mayor of Whitsunday Regional Council. We can’t thank Bowen Gumlu Growers for providing such generous assistance, and everyone enough for their very warm welcome and kind hospitality, and sincerely appreciate the generous support they are all providing the Japanese agricultural trainees to ensure mutually-beneficial outcomes from this valuable program!

2022 Gold Coast Budo Challenge

  

Consul-General ONO recently attended the 2022 Gold Coast Budo Challenge, presented by Kyokushin Karate Gold Coast Inc. A major annual martial arts tournament fostering the true spirit of Budo and cooperation, it was great to see this world class event back after a tough couple of years!

Visit to University of Southern Queensland

  

On September 29, Consul-General ONO visited the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba, and met with Mr John Dornbusch, Chancellor of USQ, Professor Geraldine Mackenzie, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ren Yi, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International), and Dr MIZUNO Teoh of the Australia-Japan Wildlife Conservation and Education Foundation Trust. The University offers strong support of the Queensland-Japan relationship, including through its study programs, research collaborations, and celebrated Japanese garden “寿楽園” (Ju Raku En), which is one of Australia's largest and most traditionally designed Japanese gardens. It opened in 1989 as a symbol of friendship between Toowoomba and its sister city Takatsuki city, Osaka, and features gorgeous cherry blossoms that bloom during the annual Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers.

Opening of The Ipswich State High School Japanese Garden

   

Consul-General ONO was delighted to celebrate the opening of The Ipswich State High School’s Japanese Garden on October 12. The garden was built in recognition of the school’s long-standing friendship with Nerima in Tokyo. Built by yourtown Australia, the garden features a shishi odoshi (bamboo water fountain), a karesansui (rock garden), and a vegetable patch full of Japanese ingredients such as shiso (perilla) for students to use in their hospitality classes. This is a wonderful initiative by Ipswich SHS supported by the Queensland Government that brings together the whole community. We are pleased that staff and students will be able to enjoy a small piece of Japan in Ipswich.

Reception for the JET Programme Alumni Association Oceania Conference 2022

 

On October 7, Consul-General ONO held an opening reception for the 2022 JET Programme Alumni Association (JETAA) Oceania Regional Conference. JETAA representatives from Australia, New Zealand and Singapore came together for the first time since 2019, and were joined by representatives from CLAIR Sydney and the Queensland Japan Community. Thank you for your important work supporting former JET participants, maintaining connections with Japan, and promoting Japan and cross-cultural understanding through important grassroots initiatives.

Visit to Rio Tinto

Consul-General Mr Ono was honoured to visit Rio Tinto’s Control Centre and meet with Japanese university students here in Brisbane in September. Along with 17 other Japanese companies, Rio Tinto is supporting students from Hokkaido and Kyushu Universities who are studying resources-related courses. Japan has been a longstanding partner of Rio Tinto, with approximately 40% of Japan’s total iron ore imports coming from Rio Tinto mines. The visit was a great opportunity to learn about Rio Tinto’s operations and its support of these students as the company continues to bring market materials critical to the transition to a low-carbon economy.

An Evening in the Gardens with the Australia-Japan Society of Queensland

 
 

On September 3, the Australia-Japan Society of Queensland celebrated its 50th anniversary with an event in the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens, which was attended by Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young AC PSM, Governor of Queensland and Professor Nimmo. The Consul-General was delighted to share in the celebrations, meeting with members of the Japan-Queensland community and being transported back to Japan by traditional performances as part of a relaxing evening in the Japanese garden.

Visit by All Nippon Intellectual Disability Sport Association (ANiSA) and Sport Inclusion Australia (SIA)

   
 

The Consul-General was honoured to meet with representatives from All Nippon Intellectual Disability Sport Association (ANiSA) and Sport Inclusion Australia (SIA) in the lead up to the Virtus Oceania Asia Games 2022 (OA Games 2022). Japan will be providing cloth masks and judo uniforms through ANiSA to support the games, which will be hosted here in Brisbane this November. Thank you for sharing the importance and benefits of inclusive sport in Australia, Japan and around the world. We look forward to the upcoming OA Games, and wish athletes every success! 

Japan Cultural Day

  
 

On August 28, Japan Cultural Day at the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens returned for the first time since 2019. It was a beautiful day in the Japanese garden, where visitors enjoyed a huge range of Japanese cultural activities including tea ceremony, ikebana, calligraphy, rice pounding, taiko, Japanese music, and bonsai. The event was co-hosted with Brisbane City Council and held as part of the 2022 Japan Month celebrations. With the new Bonsai House due to open in the gardens later this year, we are looking forward to even more opportunities to enjoy Japanese culture here in Brisbane. Thank you to the performers and everyone who attended and made it such a great day! We hope to see you again in 2023. 

Visit to Far North Queensland for Obon

   
 

Consul-General Ono recently visited Far North Queensland with His Excellency, Ambassador YAMAGAMI Shingo, to attend Obon festivities and connect with the local Japanese community. Australia’s 150-year history with Japan originated here, with thousands of Japanese immigrating to work in the sugar cane and pearl shell diving industries, particularly in the Torres Strait. More than 700 are buried on Thursday Island, where the Ambassador and the Consul-General attended an Obon ceremony commemorating the dead. They then travelled to Kazu Pearls on Friday Island to meet with owner and pearl cultivator TAKAMI Kazuyoshi, who is keeping the long tradition alive.

The Ambassador and the Consul-General were also delighted to take part in the Cairns Bon Dance Festival, which featured traditional dancing, fireworks, and authentic food stalls. Thank you to the Cairns and Torres Strait communities and local councils for your kind hospitality, and for helping maintain the region’s important historical and modern ties with Japan.

JET Farewell Reception 2022

  
  

On Friday 29 July we farewelled 2022 JET Participants. Six ALTs and one CIR will be travelling to cities and towns across Japan to live and engage in cultural and language exchange while promoting mutual understanding between Japan and Australia. Former JETs and representatives from government and the Japan community joined us in sending them off. CLAIR Sydney 's Executive Director Mr HIRAKI Manya and MR ISHIDA Hiroki travelled to Queensland to give their best wishes, and provided JET participants with origami dragons as a memento. We wish them all the best on their incredible adventures in Japan. Itterasshai, and Bon Voyage!

Visit to the Rotary Club of Brisbane

    

On 25 July the Consul-General was invited to attend a meeting with Rotary Club of Brisbane, where he spoke on the relationship between Australia and Japan, as well as on the varied and important work carried out at the Consulate-General. The Rotary Club of Brisbane has been involved in a diverse range of significant projects since it was chartered in 1923, including providing earthquake aid to Japan through its sister club in Kobe East. We thank President Bruce McNaught and the Brisbane Rotarians for their warm welcome and support for Japan, and congratulate them on the upcoming centenary of the club.

Visit by Aichi Prefectural Kariya High School

  

The Consul-General was delighted to welcome staff from Aichi Prefectural Kariya High School (愛知県立刈谷高校) to the Consulate on July 15. Deputy Principal Mr MARUYAMA Chikatsu and colleagues are visiting Queensland seeking international exchange opportunities as part of a trip facilitated by Dr MIZUNO Tetsuo, Honorary Ambassador for the Redland City Council. The Consulate is elated see school exchange programs resuming and new connections blossoming between schools in Queensland and Japan. We look forward to further opportunities for students to connect and take part in important exchange of languages and cultures.

UQ-Japan Reception

     

Consul-General ONO was delighted to host a UQ-Japan Reception on June 14 in collaboration with the University of Queensland and the Embassy of Japan in Australia, led by His Excellency, Ambassador YAMAGAMI Shingo, and Professor Deborah Terry AO, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Queensland. Providing the opportunity for representatives of the Queensland education, industry and government sectors to further deepen their connections with Japan, the event focused on future technologies and avenues for collaboration, with a particular emphasis on passing the Olympic baton from Tokyo to Brisbane. UQ student and alumni talent was also on display, as UQ Taiko wowed the audience with their spectacular Taiko drumming performance, including a piece inspired by Mochitsuki (rice pounding).

Thank you to everyone who attended. We look forward to seeing many more Japan-Australia industry and research partnerships flourish as we look ahead to Brisbane 2032.

Ambassador Luncheon with AJS-QLD and QJCCI

 

The Australia Japan Society Qld and Queensland Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry proudly hosted His Excellency YAMAGAMI Shingo, Ambassador of Japan to Australia, at a luncheon in Brisbane last week. Ambassador YAMAGAMI spoke in depth about the long-standing and diverse ties Japan and Queensland share, built on trust and mutually-beneficial outcomes. It was also emphasised that the economic partnership has continued to strengthen to the point that Japan is Queensland’s number one export destination. Ambassador YAMAGAMI noted that the relationship is at an integral point, where our ties will further grow in areas such as renewable energy, infrastructure development, education, and defence.

JET Programme Early Departure Reception

 

On Sunday 16 May, three JET Programme participants left Brisbane for Japan to begin their new roles working as Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) across Japan. Consul-General ONO met with them before departure and wished them all the best on their adventures abroad.
Itterasshai (Bon Voyage)!

Consulate Conversations

   

On May 12 the Consulate hosted the inaugural Consulate-Conversations, an evening talk series that this time focused on the history of Japanese immigration to Queensland. We were honoured to have two phenomenal speakers presenting on their areas of expertise. Dr Yuriko Nagata, Honorary Senior Fellow at the University of Queensland provided an insightful foundation on the push-pull factors and circumstances surrounding early immigration as Japan opened up to the world and the colonies of Australia were desperate for labour. Then Mr Steve Dawson, the great-great grandson of Australia’s first Japanese immigrant SAKURAGAWA Rikinosuke, spoke on his own family history. He shared how his great-grandparents and their children had run a Japanese family circus troupe that toured Australia, as well as his experiences growing up without knowing of his Japanese heritage partly as a result of Australia’s sometimes complex relationship with Japan in the first have of the 20th Century. We thank both speakers for their thought-provoking presentations, and to all those who were able to attend.

80th Anniversary Commemoration Service for the Battle of Coral Sea

 

On 30 April, Consul-General ONO attended a Commemoration for the Battle of Coral Sea, marking 80 years since the historic battle between Japan and the Allied forces in 1942. The Battle of Coral Sea represented a turning point in the war, and resulted in heavy casualties on all sides. Now, 80 years on, we come together as friends to pay respects to those who lost their lives. The Consul-General was honoured to be in attendance, and to lay a wreath of remembrance on behalf of Japan. Thank you to the Cassowary Coast Regional Council for hosting this important event.

Visit to Bond University

 
   

On May 10, Consul-General ONO visited Bond University, where he met with Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Tim Brailsford, and attended a test match between the Japan women's national rugby union team The Sakura Fifteen, who were visiting on an Australian tour, and their Australian counterparts the Australian Wallaroos.

Bond University has a long history with Japan, having been co-founded by businessman TAKAHASHI Harunori. Bond’s distinctive Arch building was designed by renowned Japanese architect ISOZAKI Arata. The Gold Coast is also home to a thriving Japanese-Australian community, and is a popular destination for Japanese tourists and students. As international travel reopens, we look forward to seeing a return of Japanese students to Queensland, as well as Australian students travelling to Japan. There are myriad opportunities in the education sector for cooperation and exchange, and we thank Professor Brailsford for taking the time to meet with us to discuss the future of these relations.

Courtesy Call on the Hon Stirling Hinchliffe

 

On 11 April Consul-General ONO paid a courtesy call on the Hon Stirling Hinchliffe, Minister for Tourism, Innovation and Sport, and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics and Paralympics Sport and Engagement. The Consul-General had the pleasure of discussing the importance of these portfolios for the Queensland-Japan relationship. Tourism has long been a pillar of our economic and cultural relations (in 2019 Japan was Australia's fifth largest inbound market for visitor arrivals, and in 2018 over half a million Australians visited Japan!), and we are looking forward to renewed opportunities moving forward. More recently, we have also seen the development of people-to-people ties through important sports diplomacy. We are honoured to have several Japanese sportspeople represented here in Queensland, including in Brisbane Roar FC, Queensland Reds and the Queensland ballet, and with the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games locked in, we look forward to even closer collaboration through tourism, innovation and sport.

Thank you Minister for taking the time to meet with the Consul-General and discuss the past, present and future of these key aspects of the relationship.

Arrival of Agricultural Trainees on Japan Agricultural Exchange Council program

 

We would like to welcome the eleven Japanese agricultural trainees who recently arrived in Bowen for a year of language learning and agricultural and horticultural training. The eleven trainees are the second group to come to Australia to participate in the Japan Agricultural Exchange Council’s multinational program. The trainees will spend their year in the Bowen region improving their English skills, learning agricultural and horticultural techniques, and engaging with the local community. We wish them the best of luck and look forward to hearing their stories and experiences next year!

Courtesy Call on Councillor David McLachlan

  

On Friday 11 March Consul-General ONO Masuo paid a courtesy call on Councillor David McLachlan, who represents the Hamilton ward. The area was heavily impacted by the recent floods, and the Consul-General expressed his sympathies to these affected along with his best wishes for a fast recovery. Thank you Cr McLachlan for taking the time to welcome the Consul-General. We look forward to working with you to further deepen Japan-Brisbane ties.

Official opening of the Komatsu Distribution Centre and Innovation Hub

   

Consul-General Mr ONO was honoured to attend the official opening of Komatsu’s Distribution Centre and Innovation Hub in Wacol this week. Komatsu’s inception into Australia in 1965 played an integral role in building Queensland’s resources sector, contributing to the bilateral economic relationship. Economic ties between Japan and Queensland have been built on trust and respect, with a long-term vision to reach mutually beneficial outcomes, and Komatsu’s investment in this facility shows a vote of confidence in our economic partnership. Congratulations Komatsu for today’s milestone, and we wish for all the company’s success and the further strengthening of Japan-Queensland economic relations!

Consul-General's visit to the Gold Coast

 
  

On 8 March Consul-General ONO Masuo made his inaugural visit to the Gold Coast to meet friends and partners of Japan, including QPS Acting Chief Superintendent Rhys Wildman and the Queensland Police Service, who support the local Japanese community in times of need. Mr ONO also toured the Griffith University Gold Coast Campus medical precinct; a world-class facility at the frontline of research which has active partnerships with Japan.

In the evening, Mr ONO enjoyed a networking reception hosted by Sam O’Connor MP and the Gold Coast Japanese community, including Japan Community of Gold Coast, Japan Society of Gold Coast, QJCCI and JCCI-GC. Mr ONO is grateful for the very warm welcome, and looks forward to supporting and further connecting with local government, businesses, visitors from Japan, and the vibrant Japanese community that call the Gold Coast home.

2022 Emperor’s Birthday Reception

  
  

On 25 February, a reception was held at the Consul-General’s Official Residence in Hamilton to celebrate the 62nd birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan. We were delighted to celebrate this occasion with valued friends and honoured guests, who were welcomed with addresses from the host of the evening Consul-General ONO, who arrived in Brisbane in January, and Stirling Hinchliffe MP, Minister for Tourism, Innovation and Sport and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics and Paralympics Sport and Engagement, representing the Premier of Queensland.

The evening served as an opportunity to enjoy a taste of Japan right here in Queensland with a range of displays showcasing Japanese industry and innovation, including Oji Fibre Solutions, Japan Rail, and the Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO). Guests were also able to sample a variety of culinary delights, including the Japanese street food Takoyaki from Rollipolli, traditional Sake from around Japan, Yebisu beer, Orion beer, and Boss coffee, cans of which attendees were able to take home to enjoy with their families.

We thank everyone who braved the rain to join us for a wonderful celebratory evening.

Courtesy call on the Premier of Queensland by Consul-General Ono Masuo

 

On February 17, Consul-General ONO Masuo paid a courtesy call on Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, Premier of Queensland and Minister for the Olympics. The two discussed a range of matters including deepening strong Queensland-Japan ties as well as promoting a wide range of cooperative efforts.

Courtesy call on the Governor of Queensland by Consul-General ONO Masuo

 

On February 17, Consul-General ONO Masuo paid a courtesy call on Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young PSM, Governor of Queensland. Mr Ono was delighted to exchange ideas on further advancing the close relationship that Queensland and Japan enjoy.

Visit to RAAF Base Amberley

  
 
In the wake of the volcanic eruption in the Kingdom of Tonga, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force deployed C-130 transport aircraft to RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland to assist with the delivery of relief supplies to Tonga. With the support of the Australian Defence Force, the C-130 transport aircraft airlifted drinking water, pressure washers, canned fish, and other items to Tonga. The Force returned to Japan on February 9 after completing their duties. Consul-General Ono visited Amberley to see off the C-130 and Japanese Self-Defense Force personnel returning to Japan. There he took the opportunity to meet with Col. FUJII Hiroshi, Flight Group Commander, and exchange ideas.