South Africa

Local councillors welcome new Japanese ambassador

The Japanese embassy recently celebrated the birthday of Emperor Naruhito, as well as the country’s national day in ward 59.

The celebrations took place on March 15, the day after the newly appointed Japanese ambassador to South Africa Ushio Shigeru was recognised and presented his credentials to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

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President Cyril Ramaphosa and Ushio Shigeru. Photo: social
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Leanne de Jager at the Embassy celebrations. Photo: social.

The handover of the letter of credence took place on March 14 at the Sefako Makgatho presidential guest house in Wonderboom.

Ward 59 councillor Shuan Wilkinson, accompanied by ward 92 councillor Leanne de Jager, attended this special day in Japanese culture.

“Because of concerns related to the Covid-19 pandemic, the public celebrations for Emperor Naruhito’s birthday were cancelled in 2020, 2021 and 2022. This year is thus very special. Happy birthday, Emperor,” said Wilkinson.

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Photo: social.
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Ward 59 Councilor Shuan Wilkinson and Ward 92 Councilor Leanne de Jager. Photo: social.

The Emperor of Japan’s birthday was already celebrated during the Heian period. This is recorded in the record of Hōki 10 (Year 779)

“On April 30, 2019, the 125th Emperor Akihito abdicated as per Japan’s constitution per the Imperial Code Special Law concerning the retirement of the Emperor. His successor was Emperor Naruhito,” Wilkinson said.

An array of Japanese products and cuisine prepared by two Japanese chefs were on display during the proceedings.

Stakeholders expressed their hope that the ambassador’s appointment will bring growth and prosperity to the metro.

“I was honoured to attend the birthday celebrations of his Majesty, the Emperor of Japan at the Japanese Embassy today. We are here as members of the DA’s international relations forum to celebrate and show respect to our Japanese counterparts,” said De Jager.

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