Embassy hosts 15th Summer Reunion for Peace and Friendship




Ambassador Hayashi making his speech at the reception

In the evening of 9 June 2011, Ambassador and Mrs Hayashi hosted the Fifteenth Summer Reunion for Peace and Friendship. This year, the number of guests reached as many as 180, more than last year, including former prisoners of war (PoWs) and civilian internees, people from organisations engaged in reconciliation programmes and those who had visited Japan through missions sent by such organisations. The participants took the opportunity to renew and expand their friendship as well as to reaffirm their continuous commitment to reconciliation.


The origin of the Reunion dates back to 1995. That year, which marked the passage of 50 years since the end of World War II, the Government of Japan launched its "Peace, Friendship and Exchange Initiative" with a view to fostering relations with the countries concerned on the basis of deep understanding and trust. This 1995 Initiative embraced a number of programmes for the promotion of reconciliation between the peoples of the UK and Japan, while the Summer Reunion for Peace and Friendship was introduced in 1997 in order to commemorate the progress made towards reconciliation as well as for those concerned to develop and deepen friendships with like-minded people. Although the 1995 Initiative was concluded in 2004, the Embassy has continued to host the Reunion in the spirit in which it was conceived.


In his speech, Ambassador Keiichi Hayashi expressed his satisfaction that the Reunion had evolved to become a well-established tradition in the course of fifteen years. The Ambassador also stated his conviction that Japan would not only overcome the devastation caused by the recent earthquake and tsunami but would also become even stronger than before with the help of friends like the UK. The Ambassador concluded his remarks by declaring: "The natural disaster will not make us flinch from this long process of reconciliation and building friendship. If anything, it has made us even more convinced of the need to strengthen our time-tested friendship, which comes into its own at a time of need."

Ambassador Hayshi with Mr Philip Malins MBC, MC, who was conferred the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays in 2010