The Permanent Delegation of Japan to UNESCO alongside the National Congress of Industrial Heritage Foundation and the Cabinet Secretariat of the Government of Japan have the pleasure to present an exhibition on “Digital Documentation, Conservation with Science and Technology”. The purpose of this interactive exhibition is to show the applications of the latest technological innovations in the field of heritage. By combining digital technology and scientific expertise for the monitoring, protection and promotion of cultural heritage, the exhibition will provide visitors with a multi-media visual and tactile experience of various sites around the world, including industrial heritage sites still in operation and cultural heritage under threat from armed conflicts. In this way, the exhibition aims at raising awareness about the current challenges and lead to a greater valuing of and caring for our global heritage in order to transmit it to future generations.
The Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Irina Bokova, visited Japan from 6 to 10 November to attend the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), as well as related Stakeholder meetings, co-organized by the Government of Japan and UNESCO hosted by Okayama City and Aichi Prefecture in Nagoya. During her stay in Japan, Ms Bokova met with the Mr Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister, Mr Hakubun Shimomura, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Mr Shigeo Kitamura, State Minister of Environment, and Mr Kentaro Sonoura, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs. She gave a lecture to members of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives, attended a dinner offered by Mr Hakubun Shimomura and a reception organized by the National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan. In Nagoya, Ms. Bokova attended the International Conference on Higher Education for Sustainable Development organized by the United Nations University (UNU), as well as a handover ceremony of UNESCO certificate of inscription for “Washoku, traditional dietary cultures of the Japanese” on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Handover Ceremony of the UNESCO Certificate of Inscription for the “Washoku, traditional dietary cultures of the Japanese” as Intangible Cultural Heritage
Ms Bokova delivered her speech at UNU’s International Conference on Higher Education for Sustainable Development
Tea Master Genshitsu Sen of Urasenke School, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador served tea to Ms Bokova, at his tea ceremony
Ms Irina Bokova and Mr. Fukuda, Vice president of All Nippon Airways at the reception organized by the National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan
The 22nd "World Peace Art" International Exhibition, organized by the International Peace Art Executive Committee, with support of the Permanent Delegation of Japan to UNESCO, took place from 24 to 30 October 2014 at UNESCO’s Headquarters, with the objective of promoting the concept of peace through art and culture and calling for a world free of nuclear weapons. The exhibition featured a wide variety of artworks created by 210 Japanese artists, whose main wish was to arouse a “peace-loving” and “art-loving” feeling in the heart of more and more people in the world, regardless of their nationality, religion or political opinions. The Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Irina Bokova, visited the exhibition and appreciated the artistic message radiating from the artworks. At the opening ceremony on 24 October, the opening speeches were followed by a “kagami-biraki” ceremony (the festive opening of the lid of a sake barrel with a wooden mallet). The guests were thus invited to visit the exhibition and taste sake, and a workshop by the participating artists was also organized.
Ambassador Monji’s speech
Speech by Mr Perez de Armiñan, Assistant Director-General for Culture
« Kagami-biraki »
Ambassadors at the opening ceremony
The participating artists
Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, and Ambassador Monji
Ms Bokova visited the exhibition with Ambassador Monji
Artworks displayed in UNESCO’s premises
On 22 October 2014, the Member States of the Asia-Pacific Group (ASPAC) organized the “ASPAC Evening” at UNESCO Headquarters. This reception was an opportunity for18 countries among ASPAC to present their respective national dishes. Many guests, including Ms Irina Bokova, Director-general of UNESCO, enjoyed Asian specialities. The Japanese corner, with sushi and sake, was much appreciated by the guests.
Ambassador Monji with ASPAC Ambassadors
Thai, Korean and Iranian food
Pakistani, Cambodian, Nepalese and Chinese food
The sushi corner
The Executive Board of UNESCO held its 195th Session from 15 to 31 October 2014. The Executive Board is one of the three constitutional organs of UNESCO, composed of 58 Member States elected by the General Conference for a 4-year term of office. It meets twice a year to review UNESCO’s programmes and budget. Japan has been elected on a continued basis since 1952, one year after it joined UNESCO (1951). During the Plenary Meeting of the Executive Board on 20 October, the Director-General delivered her opening speech, followed by the statements of the representatives of Board Members. In his speech, Ambassador Monji mentioned Japan’s contribution to UNESCO as well as the World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development which was to be held in Nagoya and Okayama in Japan in November. The Executive Board Meetings are an opportunity for Member States to have fruitful exchanges of views on education, culture and science programs as well as on administrative and financial issues.
The opening speech of Ms Bokova, Director- General of UNESCO
Ambassador Monji’s speech
The Executive Board Meeting Room
The flags of the 58 Member countries of the Board flying during the Board Session
On 26 September 2014, Miss Mai Morita, the first young lady crowned Miss Sake, visited UNESCO Headquarters. The Miss Sake competition was organized by the “Miss Sake” Association, with support of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Japanese National Tax Agency, the Japan Tourism Agency and the Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association, with a view to promoting globally the charm of sake, an alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice, and a major symbol of Japanese traditional culture. In addition to participating in domestic and international Japanese food and sake events, Miss Sake undertakes awareness-raising activities and contributes to the promotion of tourism in Japan. Ambassador Monji welcomed Miss Morita and explained UNESCO’s mission, as the only organization of the UN System with a specific mandate in the field of culture, as well as its importance for Japan and Japan’s policies and initiatives in UNESCO. They also talked about the popularity of Japanese cuisine and Japanese sake in foreign countries, as Washoku (the traditional dietary cultures of the Japanese) was inscribed in December 2013 on the Representative List of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
On the eve of Miss Sake’s visit to UNESCO, on 25 September, Ambassador Monji hosted a dinner in his capacity as Ambassador of Japan to UNESCO and “Sake Samurai”, inviting Miss Sake and other guests, including members of the Parliamentary Association of Friends of Sake of the French National Assembly, internationally recognized sommeliers, food critics and a French “Sake Samurai”, to exchange views on Japanese cuisine and sake.
On 29 September, Ambassador Monji attended a sake tasting event, together with Mr Sylvain Huet, a French « Sake Samurai », and Miss Sake, which was held in conjunction with the exhibition of a Japanese jewelry designer at an art gallery in Paris.
Wearing the « Sake Samourai » jacket, Ambassadeur Monji gives Miss Mai Morita a tour of UNESCO. Left : in the main Conference Room ; Right : in front of Joan Miró’s wall.
The « Wall of Peace » in the « Square of Tolerance» at UNESCO
Miss Sake 2014 and Ambassador Monji, « Sake Samurai », at his residence
Discussing sake at the Residence
Mr Didier Quentin, former President of France-Japan Friendship Group of the French National Assembly, his wife and Miss Sake.
Miss Sake and other participants in the Dinner
Miss Sake 2014 with 2 “Sake Samurais”
On 22 September 2014, the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy invited Ambassador Monji to the Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy in the Francophonie, which was held at the French National Assembly. Ambassador Monji delivered a key-note speech on Japanese cultural diplomacy, in which he presented the concept of public diplomacy and soft power, and explained Japanese pop culture and the “cool japan” strategy, followed by his remarks on the relationship between Japan and Francophonie. Other speakers included Ms Michèle Alliot-Marie, former French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Abdou Diouf, Secretary-General of the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF), Belgian actress Ms Alexandra Vendernoot, a Professor at Institut d'Etudes Politiques d'Aix-en–Provence and French corporate CEOs. 11 Ambassadors to France and Permanent Delegates to UNESCO also participated in the debate at the Symposium.
Ambassador Monji’s key-note speech
Ms Michèle Alliot Marie, former Minister for Foreign Affairs of the French Republic
During the discussions
Group Photo of the participants
After the Symposium, Ambassador Monji introduces Japanese pop culture to the participants
On 18 September, Ambassador Monji welcomed a group of students from Tokyo University during their study tour to visit various research institutes and public organizations in France. Ambassador Monji explained UNESCO’s activities, as well as Japan’s policies and initiatives in UNESCO. He also made a presentation on Japan’s soft power and cultural diplomacy, referring to his experiences as Ambassador of Japan to Iraq and Qatar. The students also had a meeting with other members of the Delegation.
Ambassador Monji during his presentation
Q and A Session
On 8 September 2014, Ambassador Monji welcomed a group of students from Sagami’s Women University during their visit to Paris and Lyon to study the evolution of French cuisine as well as the perception of Japanese culture abroad, with a view to making comparative studies between Japan and France. In his lecture on “Soft Power and Cultural Diplomacy,” Ambassador Monji explained Japan’s initiatives in UNESCO, including the recent inscription of Washoku (the traditional dietary cultures of the Japanese) on the Representative List of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, as well as the significance and background of the inscription of other countries’ culinary traditions on the List, and how Japanese culture, including food, is perceived in other countries. In the lecture, Ambassador Monji also made reference to various episodes and experiences in his career as Director-General of the Public Diplomacy Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Ambassador of Japan to Iraq and Qatar.
Ambassador Monji giving his lecture
Visiting Stduents and Ambassador Monji
The students listening to the lecture of Ambassador Monji
14-15 March 2014：Exhibition-Tasting-Sale « C’est bon le Japon ! », Japanese food culture (Washoku) on display
An exhibition with food tasting and sale of traditional Japanese products entitled « C’est bon le Japon ! », sponsored by our Delegation, brought Japanese cuisine and fine tableware to light in Paris on March 14 and 15. Shortly after the inscription of Washoku, the traditional dietary cultures of the Japanese, on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO in December 2013 and as the popularity of Japanese cuisine increases, this event presented the products of about 15 food-processing and fine dishware companies imported directly from Japan for that occasion. In the same place, more than 15 Japanese local governments promoted for tourism in their respective regions. This event was a great success and attracted many visitors.
Visitors queuing at the entrance
Hall packed with visitors
Introducing Japanese dishware
Stationary made with « washi », Japanese Paper
Tourist posters of many beautiful places of Japan
« Hiroshima Peace Concert » was hosted in UNESCO’s concert hall in Paris on 11 March 2013, in cooperation with our Delegation. This initiative created in Hiroshima brought together many artists from different countries, among whom the world-famous harpsichordist Yasuko Mistui, to advocate for a peaceful, nuclear-weapon-free world for the future. The date of the event coincided with the anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake to express to the world Japan’s appreciation for the international support and solidarity actions implemented after this shocking disaster.
An audience of about 1000 persons had the pleasure of listening soloists from Japan, the United States of America, United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and the Republic of Korea in the first part of the concert, and talented young soloists and youth orchestras in the second part. An exhibition of paintings by young Japanese painters and a Japanese tea and pastry tasting event were held on the same day, reflecting Japan’s hospitality and enabling many participants to appreciate our country’s beauty and flavors.
The day before the concert, Ambassador Monji meets the artists
Message from the Deputy Director-General of UNESCO, Mr. Getachew Engida
Ambassador Monji’s speech
Ms. Yasuko Mitsui playing hapsichord
Ms.Yun Hong Zhao, Chinese soprano
Mr. Sergei Markarov, Russian pianist,
UNESCO Artist for Peace
Mr. Hacène Larbi, French composer, conducting his musical peace « Matsukaze »
Ms. Yoo Seunhee, Soprano from the Republic of Korea
Young Japanese piano prodigy Mr. Nishimoto Yuya,
Ambassador Monji and his wife watching a Japanese pastry chef preparing Japanese traditional cakes
Japanese tea and pastry tasting event
The painting exhibition hall
2 - 7 December 2013： Eighth Session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (8.COM) – from 2 to 7 December 2013
The eighth Session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage was held in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, from 2 to 7 December 2013. Japan’s representatives were Dr Masanori Aoyagi, Commissioner for Cultural Affairs, and H.E. Mr Kenjiro Monji, Permanent Delegate of Japan to UNESCO. During this session, « Washoku, traditional dietary cultures of the Japanese, notably for the celebration of the New Year» was officially inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
During the discussions.
- The Japanese Government’s representatives.
- Dr Masanori Aoyagi thanks the Committee after « Washoku »’s inscription.
- Dr Masanori Aoyagi and Ambassador Monji giving interviews after « Washoku »’s inscription.
Some of the countries with elements inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity shared performing art exhibitions. The picture on the right shows the Kyrgyz epic trilogy (Manas, Semetey, Seytek), the one on the left la Parranda de San Pedro de Guarenas y Guatire (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela).
On 19 November 2013, at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris, the Member States of the Asia-Pacific Group hosted a reception titled “ASPAC Evening”, which was an opportunity to offer some of the most typical dishes of each hosting country. About 300 guests, including Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, joined the party and tasted various Asian cuisines. Japan offered sushi and sake, which were much appreciated
Japanese food Indian food Thai Food
- His Excellency Mr Kenjiro Monji and other ASPAC counterparts
14 November 2013 : Reception hosted by Japan on the occasion of the General Conference
of UNESCO and the arrival of His Excellency Mr Kenjiro Monji
On 14 November 2013, at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris, our Delegation hosted a reception to introduce its new Ambassador, His Excellency Mr Kenjiro MONJI. It was a successful event gathering more than 450 guests including Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, UNESCO’s management team and Ambassadors from UNESCO Member States. Moreover, an exhibition of Kiyomizu-yaki ceramics from Kyoto was displayed in the reception room as a way of sharing Japan’s traditional arts and crafts. It received a great deal of attention.
- His Excellency Mr Kenjiro Monji pronouncing a speech in front of the guests.
- The Director-General of UNESCO is admiring Kiyomizu-yaki ceramics, in the company of His Excellency Mr Kenjiro Monji and his spouse.
The election of the Members of the Executive Board of UNESCO was held on 13 November 2013 during the General Conference of UNESCO. Japan stood for re-election as a Board Member and gained the confidence of many Member States for another mandate until 2017. Together with the General Conference, the Executive Board is an important governing body of UNESCO, composed of 58 elected Member States. Our country has been a member of the Executive Board continuously since joining UNESCO
- At results time.
- The list of elected countries (including Japan).
8 November 2013 : Statement by Head of Delegation of Japan, Ms. Michiko Ueno, Vice-Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology during the 37th Session of the General Conference.
On 8 November 2013, Ms Michiko Ueno, Vice-Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, head of the Japanese Delegation to the 37th Session of the General Conference, delivered a speech in front of the Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Irina Bokova, and the Member States’ Representatives. In her speech, she insisted particularly on the issues which are considered critical by Japan, namely Education for all, Education for Sustainable Development, Sustainability Science and the protection of heritage. She also announced that Japan would increase cooperation with UNESCO. A copy of her statement is available here.
- Ms Michiko Ueno, Vice-Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, speaking.
Japan will be the host country of the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in November 2014 (Aichi-Nagoya and Okayama). In this connection, UNESCO and the Japanese Government co-organized a ministerial breakfast at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris on 8 November 2013 to discuss ESD. Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Qian Tang, Assistant Director-General for Education, and High level representatives of Ministries of Education of numerous countries joined the meeting. During this ministerial breakfast, the participating countries reaffirmed the importance of supporting Education for Sustainable Development and shared experiences on the present situation and ideas to accelerate its progress. On this occasion, Ms Michiko Ueno, Vice-Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, delivered a speech on behalf of the Government of Japan (A copy of her statement is available here).
Ms Michiko Ueno speaking
During the discussions
Mr Ohmori, mayor of Okayama city and Mr Iiyoshi,
President of Chubu University.
7 November 2013 : Reception hosted by Aichi Prefecture and Okayama city to promote the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
On 7 November 2013, Aichi Prefecture and Okayama city, host of the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in November 2014, hosted a successful reception at UNESCO’s Headquarters to promote the Conference. Mr Hideaki Ohmura, Governor of Aichi Prefecture and Mr Masao Ohmori, Mayor of Okayama City, delivered a speech as representatives of the organisers. Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, honoured the reception with her presence and gave a welcoming speech.
- During the reception.
- Ms Bokova speaking
- Ambassador Monji speaking
- Ms Bokova with Mr Ohmura and Ambassadeur Monji.
7 November 2013: General Conference Side Event in relation with UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
On 7 November 2013, during the 37th Session of the General Conference of UNESCO, Aichi Prefecture and Okayama City organized a side event at UNESCO’s Headquarters to raise public awareness on the World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) to be held in Japan on November 2014.
- Okayama City Mayor Mr Ohmori delivering a speech
- Aichi Prefecture Governor Mr Ohmura and guests
The 37th Session of the General Conference of UNESCO took place at UNESCO’s Headquarter in Paris from 5 to 20 November 2013. The General Conference is the most important governing body of UNESCO. It meets every two years, and is widely attended by high-level representatives (Heads of State and Government, Ministers for Foreign Affairs, etc.) from the 195 UNESCO Member States and other entities, a total of about 3000 participants. The official website of UNESCO provides a live feed of the General Conference debates and information on all related events.
- During the meeting.
- UNESCO Top Management Team.
- Ms Irina Bokova’s opening address.
- Mr Hao Ping, President of the 37th Session of the General Conference, speaking.
Presentation of credentials to Ms Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, by His Excellency Mr Kenjiro Monji .
On 29 October 2013, His Excellency Mr Kenjiro Monji, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, new Permanent Delegate of Japan to UNESCO, presented his credentials to the Director General of UNESCO, Ms. Irina Bokova. They discussed during a 20-minute meeting about UNESCO’s major programmes and Japan’s priority areas for action in the coming years.
- His Excellency Mr Kenjiro Monji and the Director General UNESCO, Ms. Irina Bokova.
- Presentation of credentials.
Copyright : 2015 Permanent Delegation of Japan to UNESCO