The 9th annual Japan Fair held on Sunday, February 17, 2019 delighted over 700 hundred locals and residents, as well as visiting delegations from Hitachiomiya City, representatives from Dream Yosacoy Global Promotion Foundation and Okinawa Tradition Association.

2019 marks the 25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Palau. A call for official logo design was announced at the end of last year and among the entries from Japan and Palau nationals, both governments selected the official logo. During the opening ceremony of Japan Fair, the selected official logo designed by Ms. Risa Ulechong from Mindszenty High School was announced and Ms. Ulechong was awarded a certificate and prize by Minister Faustina Rehuher-Marugg.

Following the stage performances by Palau Japanese Language School and Palau Judo Federation, Hitachiomiya City, Palau’s host city for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic games, came on stage to introduce their city. In his remarks, Mayor Shinichiro Mitsugi stated his determination to further strengthen the relations between Hitachiomiya City and Palau. Hitachiomiya City showcased Iaido, a non-fighting form of Japanese martial arts by Kendo Master Mr. Ebine, and introduced the city mascot Hitamaru, who played games of “aikodesho” with the audience. Furthermore, Tea Ceremony Masters from Hitachiomiya city prepared Japanese Tea Ceremony sessions, which was participated by more than a hundred people.

In the latter half of the program, over 60 Palauan students together with the instructors performed Yosacoy dance, a traditional dance from Kochi prefecture, with naruko (wood clappers) in hands. In addition, representatives from Okinawa Tradition Association entertained the audience with a number of traditional Okinawan dance performances. At the end of their program, dancers together with the audience in the hall danced a well-known Okinawan dance called Kajashi to close the stage.

As for the booth activities, many people enjoyed wearing and taking photos in yukata (summer kimono), learned how to write their names in kanji, how to fold origami, how to play Japanese traditional games, while others learned how to make kites and top using traditional papers from Hitachiomiya City. Information about Japan and Japan related programs were also provided during the Japan Fair. This year, JICA Palau Alumni Association and JENESYS Alumni also shared information about their activities by setting up their booths.

On this commemorative year which marks the 25th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Palau, we hope that Japan Fair have contributed in further enhancing the good relationship that exists between both nations. (PR)