Japan Emperor Akihito Celebrates 84
The 84th birthday of the Emperor of Japan, his Imperial Majesty Emperor Akihito was celebrated in fine style at the Japanese Embassy in Kingston.
Members of the diplomatic corps and guests came out to show their support to the Japanese Ambassador to Jamaica Hiromasa Yamazaki and his wife Hikari, who were hosting their first official function on the island since arriving in October.
The formalities were brief, commencing with the playing of the national anthems of both Japan and Jamaica by members of the National Youth Orchestra. Ambassador Hiromasa Yamazaki said that the people of Japan are grateful for the service and good health of their emperor and empress during their 29-year reign. He noted that the emperor had thought about retiring, and after consulting with the designated officials, it was decided that he will do so in 2019.
COLLABORATION IN SPORTS
He spoke of the continued relationship between Jamaica and Japan noting, "Together we have successfully implemented projects for the benefit of the people of Jamaica with the globally famous JICA, the well-known Grass Roots and Human Security Grant Programmes, as well as people-to-people exchanges between Tottori Prefecture of Japan and Westmoreland, and the beloved JET programme."
He also spoke about the collaboration in the area of sports, noting that Tottori Prefecture will become the very important training camp for Jamaica's Olympic team for the 2020 Tokyo Winter Olympics.
"The Shitamachi Bobsleigh Project, with the input of over 100 companies in downtown Tokyo, has provided the Jamaican bobsleigh team with state-of-the-art sleighs," he added.
This was also confirmed by Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck, who noted that in October, not only was the bobsled unveiled, but also the Skylark Airlines Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which was specially wrapped with the image of the Jamaican bobsleigh team. The aircraft is scheduled to fly the length and breadth of Japan displaying the image of the Jamaican bobsleigh team.
Both men toasted to the future relationship between both countries, before it was time for meeting and greeting while enjoying authentic Japanese cuisine. The venue was stocked with Japanese automotive brands that Jamaicans have come to love, like the Subaru Outback, Nissan X-Trail, Honda CRV, Toyota VXR. as well as Mitsubishi and Suzuki lines.