Japanese Emperor’s Birthday Reception

H.E. Mr. Hideo Suzuki, Ambassador of Japan; prof. Ing. Jiří Drahoš, First Vice President of the Senate of the Parliament; Mr. Jiří Kozák, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; and Mrs. Suzuki, wife of the Japanese Ambassador

Text: M. Zisso; Photo: Archive

On the occasion of Japanese Emperor’s 63rd birthday and also his 30th wedding anniversary, the Ambassador of Japan to the Czech Republic H.E. Mr. Hideo Suzuki and Mrs. Suzuki held a reception at Hilton Hotel Prague.

In front of Mr. Jiří Drahoš, First Vice President of the Senate; Mr. Jiří Kozák, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; and many Ambassadors, government officials, members of the Czech Parliament and Senate, and distinguished guests, H.E. Mr. Hideo Suzuki greeted the guests.

Here are selected sections of the Ambassador’s speech at the event.

It is an honor and privilege to welcome you at this Emperor’s Birthday reception. It is also a great joy for me to see you all here, after three years hiatus due to the pandemic. Thank you very much for coming. And I would like to wholeheartedly congratulate the Czech guests for the election of the new President, General Petr Pavel.

His Majesty will celebrate his 63rd birthday on 23rd of February and also the 30 years of his marriage in June this year.

Since last fall, Their Majesties the Emperor and the Empress have resumed their visits all over Japan and have come into direct contact with people to share their joys and sorrows.

His Majesty also appeared in front of the massive well-wishers who gathered for the traditional New-Year’s congratulatory visit to the Imperial Palace that was paused during the pandemic, and expressed his wishes of happiness for our country and the people of the world.

Thus, His Majesty, as symbol of Japan and the unity of the Japanese people, a status conferred by the 12 Constitution, has expressed the aspiration of all Japanese to stand up to recover the pandemic disaster, and to contribute actively to world peace.

You can count on Japan and on the Japanese people.

This year shall mark the 30th anniversary of establishment of the diplomatic relations and the 20th anniversary of Strategic Partnership between Japan and the Czech Republic. We have long nurtured strong economic and cultural ties, and now we are stepping up forward also in the political and security areas. As evidence of this, both in the Czech Indo- Pacific Strategy and in Japan’s new National Defense

Strategy, each other’s names are clearly enshrined as trustworthy partners.

It will soon be one year since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. One year of cooperation between Japan and the Czech Republic in supporting Ukraine. Japan has so far provided 600 million USD in financial assistance, 200 million in emergency humanitarian aid for Ukrainian refugees including those in the Czech Republic. Last December we decided to provide another 500 million for the same purpose. We know how much the Czech Republic is doing for those people in need, so we want to bring together our solidarity. Also, together, we are sending more than one thousand generators into Ukraine including Buca to provide warmth to Ukrainians struggling to get through the harsh winter.

We would like to further promote concrete cooperation between our two countries, which share common values, in order to preserve and restore international rule-based order. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the Czech people, the Czech parliament and government for their continued friendship.

Now, to cooperate, we need to know each other even more. We have here today, the cream of the Japanese community in Czech Republic coming up from all fields. Industry, academia, arts, pop culture etc. I invite you to meet them and discover the diversity of Japan. You will also find the latest dream products and services by Toyota, Panasonic, Mitsubishi Electric, Toray and Japan Airlines in the lobby and foyer on the first floor. Thank you for your participation.

But we also say in Japan “fine manners need full stomach”. So we prepared bunch of Japanese delicacies to fill your bodies and hearts. Asahi has H.E. Mr. Hideo Suzuki, Ambassador of Japan; Mr. Hayato Josef Okamura, Member of the Czech Parliament; and his wife provided us with ‘Super Dry’, one of the most popular Japanese draught beer brands. Tako Foods is ready for the tasting of Wakaze, a new type of Japanese sake, and JAPE (Japan Agri Products Europe) has provided frozen sushi served in airline business class. We also have sushi made of new rice crop 2022 prepared by my chef, who stayed up all night for this, and traditional sake for your enjoyment.

Last but not the least, the Czech Republic has signed the contract for the participation in the 2025 Osaka-Kansai Expo. Today marks exactly 800 days until the Expo. This will be the most exciting post-pandemic 13 event which will boost further our friendship and our common interest. Please take a look at the panel exhibition. And much more important: please take that opportunity to come to Japan and experience the amazing potential of sustainable future.