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His Majesty the Emperor's Birthday Reception
hosted by Ambassador and Mrs. Matsutomi

Speech by Ambassador Matsutomi

Speech by Minister Shamir, with Director General Locker,
and Ambassador and Mrs. Matsutomi

On the evening of December 4th, 2014,
Ambassador and Mrs. Matsutomi hosted at their residence the annual National Day Reception celebrating the birthday of
His Majesty the Emperor Akihito of Japan.
Over 600 guests attended the event, among them
H.E. Mr. and Mrs. Yair Shamir, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Harel Locker, Director General of the Prime Minister's Office; H.E. Amb. and Mrs. Nissim Ben Shitrit, Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel (former Ambassador to Japan); Mr. and Mrs. Avi Berger, Director General of the Ministry of Communications; Mr. Zvi Oren, President of Manufacturers Association of Israel ;Dr. Roni Bornstein, Chairman of the Israel-Japan Friendship Society and Chamber of Commerce; Mr. and Mrs. Arie Kutz, Chairman of the Israel-Japan Friendship Society, as well as distinguished guests from various arenas, Japanese living in Israel and representatives of the diplomatic corps in Israel.
Following the National Anthems of Japan and Israel, performed by a Japanese violinist living in Israel, Ambassador Matsutomi, in his speech, along with congratulatory remarks for His Majesty's 81st birthday, expressed a strong will to advance bilateral ties, with reference to this year's high-level exchanges in both political and economic fields, as well as advancing the relationship in the Cultural field, with the launching of the event "Japan Cultural Week in Jerusalem" held in October and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra's recent performance in Japan which fascinated Japanese citizens.

Japanese Violinist Ms. Tomoko Malkin performing
National Anthems of Japan and Israel
Photos of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress at the reception hall
Then Director General Locker introduced a special celebratory message from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to His Majesty the Emperor and Prime Minister Netanyahu's strong message encouraging the further strengthening of the bilateral relationship with reference to his official visit to Japan last March and friendship between the two countries. Then the guest of honor, Minister Shamir sent his homage to His Majesty Emperor Akihito. In addition, the Minister referred to the historical relation between Japan and Jews and expressed his hope to advance our new relationship especially in the business arena, which nowadays has been getting increased attention. After the ceremony, participants enjoyed Japanese food, including 1500 Nigiri Sushi prepared by the Residence chef Ajioka, with a variety of Sake, Japanese beer and Choya plum wine.
Exhibits of Japanese corporations' (Yaskawa Electric, Nikon, Toyobo and SHARP) high-quality productions, as well as the tea ceremony demonstrations also attracted the participants.
Exhibits by Japanese corporations

Guests enjoying Sake

Tea-ceremony experience

At the reception