Emperor's Birthday Reception 2023




On 7 February, Ambassador and Madame Hayashi hosted a reception at Japan House London on the occasion of His Majesty the Emperor's Birthday. The event was attended by approximately 300 participants, with senior British government officials such as The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and The Rt Hon Ben Wallace, Secretary of State for Defence; various Members of Parliament, including The Rt Hon Theresa May and The Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss, both former Prime Ministers of the UK; The Rt Hon Lord Reed of Allermuir, President of the Supreme Court and judicial experts; relations of the British Royal Family; Air Chief Marshall Sir Mike Wigston, Chief of the Air Staff, and military officers; Ambassadors and High Commissioners of the diplomatic corps; academic, cultural, sports, and media figures; and members of companies and organisations operating in the UK.

The evening opened with a wonderful rendition of the national anthems of the two countries, performed by Ms Victoria Meteyard, Leader of the UK-Japan Consort, UK-Japan Music Society. This was then followed by an address from Ambassador Hayashi, who congratulated His Majesty the Emperor on the occasion of his 63rd birthday. Ambassador Hayashi reflected on the cooperation between the British and Japanese governments, parliamentarians and judicial experts, as well as the social and cultural activities between the two countries, before calling for the support of all guests in further strengthening bilateral relations in 2023. Then former Prime Minister Truss, Lord Reed, and Chancellor Hunt respectively gave congratulatory remarks and recounted episodes about their involvement and connections with Japan.

The event also hosted numerous exhibits by Japanese companies and organisations active in the UK as well as some Japanese local governments, with a focus on the three particular themes of Japan's economic policy priorities: (1) Green transition and decarbonisation, (2) digitalisation, and (3) tourism and exchange promotion. The relevant booths displayed state-of-the-art technologies and examples of successful businesses that address common challenges that both the UK and Japan face, alongside some attractive tourist destinations and exchanges available for British visitors to Japan. The guests enjoyed Japanese food as well as sake and wine which had just arrived from Japan, and were able to gain a sense of Japan's multifaceted attractions.

Everyone attending the reception gained a powerful impression of the excellent state of the Japan-UK relations. The Embassy of Japan in the UK will continue to make every effort to advance our ties still further in 2023.