The Consulate-General of Japan in Bengaluru hosted the Japanese National Day in celebration of the 60th birthday of the Emperor of Japan, His Majesty Emperor Naruhito. This is the first National Day celebration after Emperor Naruhito’s predecessor and father, Emperor Akihito abdicated from the throne last year.
The celebrations were held at the Shangri-La Hotel in Bengaluru and saw over 250 guests and VIPs in attendance. The Consul-General of France Dr. Vanbaelinghem, Deputy Consul-General of Germany Ehlerding, Consul from the Consulate-General of the State of Israel Dr. Shai Moses, Consul-General of France, Spain, Britain, Victoria, Peru, Maldives, Benin and many other diplomats and Honorary Consuls were spotted at the event. Nagao, President of the Japanese Association in Bengaluru, served as the guest of honour for the evening.
There were also stalls set up by major Japanese companies such as Canon, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS), Sony, Nichi-In, Rakuten, JapCul Style and Toyota – who displayed their brand-new minivan called “VELLFIRE.” Guests also tried some Japanese Sake, Japanese plum wine, sushi, sashimi and other delicious dishes from the traditional Japanese spread, that was curated in sync with the theme of the Japanese celebrations.
The Consul-General of Japan Takayuki Kitagawa addressed the gathering with a speech where he made the announcement of the end of his tenure in Bengaluru and that he will be leaving in the last week of March 2020 and will resume his duties at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan. He also spoke about his efforts, and subsequent success, to further Japan-Karnataka relations in terms of culture and economy.
The Consulate-General of Japan in Bengaluru has been organising events in line with the popularity of Japanese culture – mainly with a focus on the Japanese language. There are a total of 17 Japanese Schools in Bengaluru and the number of participants in the Japanese Speaking Event (held every three or four months at the Consul-General’s Residence) has increased from about 1600 in the year 2017 to about 4500 people in the year 2019. He also hosts events that celebrate Japanese cuisine such as the annually recurring ‘Japan Food Fest,’ which just last year in November, saw a footfall of 3000 people. An event that celebrates Japanese pop culture called the ‘Cosplay Walk,’ is to take place on the 15th of March 2020 at the St. Marks Hotel in Bengaluru.
Economically, the number of Japanese companies and Japanese investment in general has seen a 60% increase with about 470 to about 550 in Bengaluru alone. Karnataka can also look forward to a higher Japanese investment in Karnataka with the brand-new Japan Industrial Township which will finish construction in October 2020.