Past Events

Emperor's Birthday Reception



The Embassy of Japan held a National Day Reception on 8 December 2011 in its ballroom, to celebrate His Imperial Majesty Akihito's 78th birthday. More than 500 guests participated in the event, including many British people involved in Japan-UK relations, Japanese citizens in the UK, ambassadors and other representatives of the diplomatic corps. Among those attending were many Members of the Houses of Parliament, including the Speaker of the House of Lords, Baroness DSouza. Rt Hon Lord David Howell, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, spoke on behalf of the British government.

Since Japan experienced the Great East Japan Earthquake last year, the reception was not only to celebrate the Emperor's birthday but was also an occasion for the embassy to express its gratitude for Britain's public and private support for the victims of the earthquake, and also to show how the Tohoku region is recovering from the disaster.

During the reception the Japanese baritone singer Koji Terada sung both the Japanese and British national anthems. Ambassador Hayashi delivered a speech to the guests mentioning the close cooperation between Japan and the UK, declaring: While Japan is facing daunting challenges, we are most grateful that the UK is standing alongside us, reflecting the close partnership we have developed based upon shared values and interests.

Panels were exhibited in the reception hall, among which were those depicting Their Majesties the Emperor and Empresss visit to the devastated regions, Prime Minister David Camerons signing of the Book of Condolence, and charity events in the UK. While Hibiki Ichikawa, a Japanese musician, was playing the tsugaru-shamisen (the shamisen from Aomori prefecture in the Tohoku region), cuisine and sake from Tohoku was offered, to help the guests savour the atmosphere of Tohoku. There was also a booth to introduce the tourist attractions from the Tohoku and other regions. Also featured were posters to show how Japan is recovering from the disaster. Panels on display explained how the disaster had affected the supply chain of Japanese car manufacturers, all with longstanding relations with the UK, and the efforts by these companies to overcome the difficulties encountered.

The Ambassador received many guests

Hibiki Ichikawa entertained the guests with a tsugaru-shamisen performance


Embassy of Japan