Welsh organisations from the world of sport, manufacturing, culture, the arts, tourism and education gathered together with Assembly Members at the Senedd recently for a special event to celebrate the Japan – UK Season of Culture.
The “Japan-UK Season of Culture 2019-20” bridges the Rugby World Cup 2019 and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Japan will organise the Japan Season of Culture in the UK, and the UK will oversee the UK Season of Culture in Japan in parallel. This was agreed between the Prime Ministers of Japan and the UK in August 2017.
The event at the Senedd was organised by the Honorary Consul for Japan in Wales, Keith Dunn, OBE.
Some 100 people from all over Wales that have a Japanese connection attended the event including Shane Williams, MBE, former Wales and British Lions player who gave give his impressions of Japan.
Eluned Morgan AM, Minister for International Relations and Welsh Language for Welsh Government along with Takashi Okada, Minister Plenipotentiary from the Embassy of Japan for the UK in London talked about the Year of Culture and the opportunities for Wales.
Representatives from Sony UK Technology Centre in Pencoed, the National Museum, Cardiff and the Vale College, Toyota Manufacturing in Deeside and Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Plasmawr in Cardiff will talked about the various activities they are doing to in Wales to celebrate the Season of culture.
Other organisations taking part were GS Yuasa, Japanese Garden Society, National Botanic Garden of Wales, Visit Wales, Celtic School, Welsh Rugby Union Wales and the Japanese Animation Festival.
Traditional Japanese music will be played by Hiroko Sue.
Commenting on the event Keith Dunn said “I am delighted that so many organisations from all over Wales came together to celebrate the strong links that already exist between Wales and Japan. Some 6,500 people currently work for Japanese companies in Wales and the cultural links are very strong. There are a number of Welsh supporters that are making plans to travel to Japan for the Rugby World Cup and the Japanese are working hard to ensure they enjoy a wonderful experience. We will also have the Olympic and Paralympic Games taking place in 2020 and so the eyes of the world will be very focused on Japan over the next year”.