Global Initiatives Group, Hiroshima University
On October 16th, 2020, the 3rd Japanese Speech Contest was held and co-hosted by the Komaru-Koutsu Foundation, Hiroshima University Lithuania Center, and Vytautas Magnus University’s Centre for Asian Studies. Although both the inaugural (held in 2018) and second contests were held at Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) in Kaunas City, where Hiroshima University Lithuania Center is located, this year’s event was broadcast live from the two venues, Higashi-Hiroshima Campus of Hiroshima University (HU) and VMU, due to the influence of COVID-19. On the day, there were about 60 people in the online and in-person audience including Japanese language learners and teachers.
The contest began with opening addresses by Mr. Shigehiro Komaru (President of the Komaru-Koutsu Foundation and President of the Fukuyama Transporting Co. Ltd.), HU President Mitsuo Ochi, and Dr. Linas Didvalis (Head of the Centre for Asian Studies of VMU). On top of that, the Lithuanian Ambassador to Japan H.E. Mr. Gediminas Varvuolis and the Japanese Ambassador to the Republic of Lithuania H.E. Mr. Shiro Yamasaki, both of whom are special guests of this event, also gave their addresses.
In the contest, 7 participants categorized in three groups; advanced level, intermediate level, and beginner level, made speeches in Japanese. After careful consideration by judges, the top contestants from each category were awarded certificates and prizes.
The contest was concluded with the closing address from Executive Vice President Toshiyuki Sato from HU. The audience listened intently until the very end of the contest.
Group photo at the venue in Japan:
From left, Executive Vice President Sato, Mrs. Rasa Varvuoliene and Lithuanian Ambassador to Japan H.E. Mr. Varvuolis, President Komaru and Mrs. Teruko Komaru, Former Japanese Ambassador to the Republic of Lithuania H.E. Mr. Toyoei Shigeeda and Mrs. Michiko Shigeeda
(The participants in Lithuania can be seen on screen)