Event Reports

2021/10/28

Event Reports 2024

Visit to Mareeba Shire Council and Cairns Regional Council
 

 

On 22 April, Consul-General Gomakubo visited the Mareeba Shire Council for the first time to pay a courtesy call on Mayor Ms Angela Toppin. The Mareeba Shire is less than an hour’s drive from Cairns International Airport, and is economically and socially diverse. And, the Kuranda Rainforest Park, which is a famous tourist destination in this region, comes under Mareeba Shire. It was a great pleasure to discuss future relationships with Japan through regional economy and tourism sectors with the Mayor, referring in particular to the similarities between the Kuranda rainforest and the Yambaru forest of Okinawa, Japan. We hope for a prosperous and long-lasting friendship with the beautiful Mareeba Shire.

On 23 April, Consul-General Gomakubo paid a courtesy call on the newly elected Mayor Ms Amy Eden in Cairns. CG Gomakubo congratulated on her inauguration and thanked the Council for its long-standing commitment to the safety of the Japanese residents and tourists in Cairns and for providing a community grant to the Cairns Japanese Association for its annual Bon Danse festival in August. They also discussed the deepening regional economic and tourism ties into the future. We hope to visit Cairns again soon!
 

Visit to QUT Galleries and Museums
 


The Consul-General visited the QUT Galleries and Museums on 11 April and enjoyed a great variety of Australian and international art, including a Hokusai and other Japanese woodblock prints, as well as a print from Torres Strait Islander artist Brian Robinson featuring Japanese cartoons! A big thank you to the staff for a wonderful tour.
 

Reception in Acknowledgement of Early Japanese Immigration to Australia
 


On 22 March, the Consulate hosted a special reception acknowledging early Japanese immigration to Australia. We celebrated the occasion with the families of several war brides and pre-war Japanese immigrants, dating back to Rikinosuke Sakuragawa, Australia’s the first recorded Japanese immigrant who arrived in 1873, along with academics and friends of the Queensland-Japan community. We were particularly honoured to have four war brides in attendance. These women arrived in Australia in the 1950s after marrying Australian servicemen in the Occupation Force, and paved the initial steps towards ending the White Australia policy and thawing post-war Australia-Japan relations.
It was an honour to provide this opportunity to connect and share histories, and to recognise the important and longstanding role that Japanese Australians have played in Queensland’s past and present. Thank you to all who attended. A special thanks goes to Dr Yuriko Nagata, Honorary Senior Fellow, University of Queensland, and Elysha Rei, Chair of Nikkei Australia, for providing a wealth of knowledge through their opening remarks and support of the event.
 

Sister School Signing Ceremony between Windaroo Valley State High School and Kariya High School
 


On 11 March, Windaroo Valley State High School formalised its Sister School agreement with Kariya High School in Aichi prefecture, Japan with an official signing ceremony.
20 students and 3 staff from Kariya High School arrived to witness the signing and take part in their annual school trip to Australia, including staying with a host family and attending Windaroo Valley SHS. As part of the ceremony, Vice-Principal of Kariya High School Mr Maruyama presented Windaroo Valley SHS Principal Mrs Hopper with a real kabuto (samurai helmet), before making an origami version for her. Students then performed Down Under in a wonderful cultural exchange! We would like to congratulate both schools on formalising their close ties, and look forward to seeing the relationship continue to flourish for many years to come.
 

Piano Recital
 

 

The Consulate-General of Japan Recently hosted a special salon concert with distinguished Japanese pianist Ms KATO Naoko. Ms Kato serenaded the crowd with Chopin, Schumann and Rachmaninoff, and after a surprise performance of Sakura featuring opera singers Ms Kumiko Lofley based in Gold Coast and Ms Kato’s mother from Japan, the concert was rounded out with a group rendition of Waltzing Matilda. We were honoured to have Ms KATO join us all the way from Japan for this special performance. Bravo!
 

2024 Emperor's Birthday Reception
 


Consul-General Gomakubo hosted this year’s Emperor's Birthday Reception at his Official Residence on 22 February. The event was attended by Her Excellency the Hon Dr Jeannette Young AC PSM, Governor of Queensland, the Hon Cameron Dick MP, Deputy Premier, Treasurer, and Minister for Trade and Investment, Mr Tim Nicholls MP, representing the Leader of the Opposition, and other guests from the business community, the education sector, Australia-Japan friendship organisations and members of the Queensland Consular Corp.

At the start of the reception, Consul-General GOMAKUBO Junji (link to speech) extended his condolences for the victims and to their families of the earthquake in the Noto region of Ishikawa Prefecture. He also expressed his sympathies for those affected by the recent floods in Queensland.

In his remarks, Mr Gomakubo stressed his desire to work with stakeholders to further strengthen the active Japan-Australia and Japan-Queensland relationships on various levels. Her Excellency and the Deputy Premier also made welcoming remarks.

Chef SUZUKI Akinori, the Official Residence chef, served Japanese-style dishes, providing an opportunity for guests to indulge in Japanese food culture. To promote Japanese seafood, Hokkaido scallops were served with a sauce created by Chef Suzuki using Vegemite, which was enjoyed by many guests. Ikebana flower arrangements by Sogetsu Ikebana Queensland were beautifully displayed throughout the venue.

Japanese companies sponsored the reception, allowing guests to enjoy a variety of Japanese beverages, as well as get up close and personal with the hydrogen-powered vehicle (MIRAI). We would like to sincerely thank the following companies and organisations for their cooperation with exhibiting their products.

Sapporo Breweries (Coopers Brewery)
Nippon Food Supplies Company Pty Ltd.
Takara International
Frucor Suntory
Toyota Motor Corporation Australia Limited
Japan National Tourism Organization
Japan External Trade Organization

2024 New Year's Reception


On 30 January, Consul-General GOMAKUBO Junji hosted a New Year's Reception at the Consul General's official residence, which was attended by approximately 90 people, including Japanese residents. In his opening remarks, Consul-General Gomakubo expressed his condolences for the victims of the earthquake in the Noto area of Ishikawa Prefecture, his sympathy for those affected by the disaster, and expressed his wish to work with the Japanese community and Japanese residents in Queensland to strengthen bilateral relations with Queensland. Mr SUNAKAWA Seisaku, President of the Gold Coast Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, also presented New Year's greetings on behalf of the Japanese community. At the event, Mr SUZUKI Akinori, Chef of Consul-General Gomakubo, prepared a variety of Japanese dishes for the occasion using local Queensland ingredients and Japanese sake from various regions of Japan. The Ikenobo Queensland Study Group decorated the room with beautiful Ikebana flower arrangements.
 

Consul-General's Commendation for Mr Chris Whitecross and Mr Danny Maruyama


On 23 February, Consul-General Gomakubo was honoured to present commendations to Mr Chris Whitecross and Mr Danny Maruyama for their efforts in deepening the mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and Queensland in the areas of sports and business.

Danny Maruyama is a pioneer of sports diplomacy in Queensland and has worked hard to develop cultural exchange through baseball. He has supported various charitable initiatives and exchange programs for over four decades, including at Robina State High School which named their recently opened “Maruyama Field” in his honour.

Chris Whitecross is the president of the Queensland Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (QJCCI). Under his leadership, QJCCI has held many Japan-related events promoting business and investment between Japan and Queensland, which have strengthened the bilateral relationship. He has worked tirelessly to create links and forge networks between the Japanese and Queensland business communities, as well as donated his time to mentoring Japanese and Australian students in international business management.

The Consulate-General of Japan in Brisbane expresseds our sincere gratitude to both Maruyama-san and Chris for their dedication and efforts to the Japan-Queensland relationship. The decorations bestowed on them are a reflection of our deepest appreciation for everything they have done to bring the people of Japan and Queensland closer together in their respective fields. 

 

2023 Iwasaki Sangyo Prize Award Ceremony
 


Consul-General Gomakubo was delighted to farewell four year 12 graduates who are travelling to Japan on the Iwasaki Sangyo Prize. This prize, offered by the Queensland Department of Education International, provides students with the opportunity to undertake a cultural immersion experience in Japan to improve their language skills and be immersed in Japanese culture. Congratulations to this year’s award winners. We wish you all the best in Japan, and hope you will take these invaluable experiences with you into your future careers.

For more information on the Iwasaki Sangyo Prize, please visit: https://education.qld.gov.au/schools-educators/international/global-opportunities/opportunities-in-asia/opportunities-in-japan/japan-iwasaki-sangyo-prize