The Honourable Mr. Ichiro Aisawa and Her Excellency Ms. Beryl Sisulu.
TEXT: Embassy of the Republic of South Africa
On April 27th, 2016, the diplomatic mission of the Embassy of the Republic South Africa in Tokyo hosted its 22nd National Day reception under the theme, “Celebrating South Africa’s National Identity”.
The reception was convened at the Official Residence and was attended by more than 300 guests, with the Honorable Mr. Ichiro Aisawa, Chairman of the Japan-African Union (AU) Parliamentary Friendship League, Ms. Hitomi Takahashi, who is a well-known actress in Japan and is the Goodwill Ambassador for the South African Tourism Office in Japan, and Ms. Karin Hiramatsu, winner of the Embassy’s high school essay writing competition among others.
Ms. Hitomi Takahashi and Ms. Karin Hiramatsu narrated their respective experiences from visiting South Africa. Ms. Karin Hiramatsu’s visit was part of her prize for winning the Embassy’s high school essay writing competition.
In her official remarks to guests, Ambassador Sisulu enunciated the significance of celebrating South Africa’s heterogeneous national identity as well as the role of the Constitution in facilitating a united country. She further highlighted significant developments in South Africa’s improving bilateral relationship with Japan and encouraged more investment in South Africa. She also acknowledged Japan’s role in contributing to South Africa’s human capital development through the hosting of 49 South African Master’s degree students under the Africa Business Education for the Youth Initiative (ABE Initiative), in which a few of the students attended the reception.
As the Guest of Honor, Mr. Ichiro Aisawa congratulated the people of South Africa on their Freedom Day. Mr. Aisawa further highlighted significant events of 2016, such as the G7 Summit in Japan in May and the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on Africa’s Development Summit (TICAD VI), which will be convened for the first time in Africa, in Nairobi, Kenya.
As part of its National Day celebration, the Diplomatic Mission collaborated with the South African Tourism Office in Japan and Emirates Airlines to select two travel journalists to visit South Africa to experience and write a series of articles about South Africa and its tourist attractions. In this regard, Emirates Airlines sponsored two air tickets for the visit.
The reception was a success as friends of South Africa from various sectors in Japan were treated to live South African music and served South African cuisine and wine.