Japan's Constitution to Mark 70th Anniversary Since Enactment

On May 3, 2017, Japan will mark 70 years since the Constitution took effect. The Japanese Constitution is based on three principles: sovereignty of the people, respect for fundamental human rights, and renunciation of war.
Read more below:

Credit: Cabinet Public Relations Office

Prime Minister Abe in Europe

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe traveled to Europe, where he met with the leaders of Germany, France, Belgium and Italy for bilateral talks on March 19-21. At his first stop in Europe, the prime minister met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Read more below:

Japan Ranked #1 "Most Forward-Looking Country" in U.S. News & World Report Best Countries Survey

Japan was named the "Most Foward-Looking Country" in a U.S. news & World Report ranking, with survey respondents citing its technological expertise and innovation. Japan also took the No. 2 spot for "Entrepreneurship" in recognition of easy access to capital, a skilled labor force, business transparency and other attributes. The Best Countries rankings, conducted by U.S. News & World Report in partnership with Y&R's BAV Consulting and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, evaluated 80 countries across 24 rankings based on a survey of 21,000 global citizens.

Calling All Manga Artists!

Are you a manga artist eager to share your creativity, storytelling and drawing skills with the world? The 11th Japan International MANGA Award, founded by Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is your chance to shine! The award honors artists who are contributing to the development of manga culture. 
Find out more:

Dedication of LA Sister Cities Plaza

Consul General of Japan Akira Chiba recently joined host Los Angeles City Councilmember Joe Buscaino and consular colleagues at the dedication of LA Sister Cities Plaza in San Pedro.  The event involved the ceremonial raising of the 25 flags representing the sister city countries of Los Angeles. Nagoya is Los Angeles’ first sister city, established in 1959.     

Celebrating Japan in Arizona

The 33rd Annual Arizona MATSURI: A Festival of Japan was held at Heritage and Science Park in Phoenix, Arizona on Feb. 25-26. The Arizona MATSURI is a two-day celebration of Japanese culture organized by the Arizona Matsuri Steering Committee whose mission is to introduce the culture of Japan to Arizona. It is estimated that around 70,000 people attended this year’s event, with more than 250 performers, vendors, and organizations over the two days.

Credit: John Sachen

Japanese Films to be Screened at Newport Beach Film Festival

Long Excuses, directed by Miwa Nishikawa, and Cold Sun, directed by Hidetaka Ito, will be among the films screened at the Newport Beach Film Festival. 
The festival's screenings will be held at venues in the Newport Beach area between April 20 and 27. Check the links below for more information:

Screening of Destruction Babies at the Locarno Festival in Los Angeles

The film Destruction Babies, directed by Tetsuya Mariko, will be screened on Sunday, April 23 at the Downtown Independent in downtown Los Angeles.
For more details about the movie and the festival: 

Japanese Films at Los Angeles Asia Pacific Film Festival

The Los Angeles Asia Pacific Film Festival, to be held from April 27 to May 4, will feature films from some 30 countries. Among the Japanese films to be screened include Tokyo Idols directed by Kyoko Miyake and The Sower directed by Yosuke Takeuchi.
For showtimes and more details:

Credit: Mansaku-no-Kai Company

Kyogen Performance in Los Angeles

Mansaku Nomura, a Japanese Living National Treasure, and the Mansaku-no-Kai Company will perform "An Evening of Kyogen" on May 6-7 at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center's Aratani Theatre. Nomura's kyogen traditional Japanese comic theater will be performed in Japanese with English subtitles.
To learn more:

Taiko Extravaganza in Scottsdale, Arizona!

Come enjoy a night of music and dance anchored by Taiko drum rhythms. On May 6, the "Salt of the Earth" theme will be explored in a show produced by Taiko drummer Ken Koshio.
For more details about the performance:

Japanese Language Speech Contests

Students who study Japanese in Southern California and Arizona can showcase their language and public speaking skills at speech contests in our region held annually by different organizations. Find out more below:

Kyodo System Japanese Speech Contest (March 25) 
https://www.facebook.com/Kyodo-System-281139265289868/ (Japanese only)

20th Annual San Diego Japanese Speech Contest (March 26):

28th Annual Arizona Japanese Speech Contest (April 9)

Japanese Language Scholarship (Aurora) Foundation All-USA High School Japanese Speech Contest (May 27)

99+1 JAPAN: Traveling Through Art, Design & Architecture!

This is the first-ever publication and website created by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) specifically promoting the appeal of modern art, design and architecture to overseas visitors.

Demonstration Operation of Storage Battery System for Power Grid Starts in California!

NEDO and Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd., in cooperation with the State of California and public utility company San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), started the next phase of the Demonstration Project for Validation of Redox Flow Battery Performance in California on March 16, 2017. Details here:

Hanami Dango (Sticky Rice Sweets on a Stick for Cherry Blossom Viewing)

In Japan, April is a time for hanami (cherry blossom viewing). With cherry blossoms in full bloom, families, friends, work colleagues will picnic under the trees to enjoy the ambience and celebrate spring's arrival. Among the foods eaten are hanami dango, or a trio of colorful, sweet rice dumpings on a stick. Read more about cherry blossom viewing and enjoy some sweets under blooming sakura trees near you!

Upcoming Holiday: Children's Day on May 5

May 5 is the national holiday Children's Day, a day for families to celebrate the health, growth and happiness of their children. The day was originally called "Tango no Sekku", which fell on the fifth day of the fifth moon, as a holiday for boys. On Children's Day, families with boys will decorate dolls of warriors and other heroes in their homes as a symbol of strength. The koinobori carp flags, which represent the family, including parents and children, can be seen throughout Japan this time of year as a symbol of good health and strength.

http://www.la.us.emb-japan.go.jp/ | info@ls.mofa.go.jp

Consulate General of Japan, Los Angeles