13 to 18 March: Visit by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs Masagos Zulkifli
At the invitation of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Minister of State (MOS) Masagos Zulkifli visited Japan from 13 to 18 March 2012. During his visit, MOS Masagos met his counterpart, Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Joe Nakano, members of the Japan-Singapore Parliamentary Friendship League, senior Japanese Diet members and prominent Japanese academics. MOS Masagos also met a group of Singaporeans who were based in Tokyo.
From 13 to 14 March, MOS Masagos visited Osaka, where he met Governor Ichiro Matsui, and Kobe where he toured the Disaster Reduction Centre. On 17 March 2012, MOS Masagos officiated the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of a new multi-purpose hall in Rikuzentakata City, Iwate Prefecture.
L-R: DPJ Upper House member Motohiro Oono, JSPFL Chief of Secretariat Kenji Tamura, MOS Masagos, DPJ Upper House member Naoki Kazama and DPJ Lower House member Nobumori Osaka
5 to 10 March: Study Visit by 14th Governance and Leadership Programme
A group of 37 senior Singapore officials from various government bodies visited Tokyo for a week under the 14th Governance and Leadership Programme (GLP) organised by the Singapore Civil Service College. The delegation, led by Deputy Secretary Ng Wai Choong from the Ministry of Finance, was briefed by eminent Japanese academics and political commentators like Yukio Okamoto and Prof Heizo Takenaka and visited several Japanese companies like Mitsubishi Motors, Panasonic and Pasona. The participants also had a dialogue session with Upper House Diet member Kouta Matsuda.
GLP participants attending a briefing at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government
6 December: Joint TBS-Mediacorp media conference
The Embassy was the venue for the launch of “Mooncakes” or 朋友, the first joint drama production by Japan and Singapore about a Singapore Civil Defence Force officer falling in love with a Japanese woman. The lead actors and actresses as well as top executives from Tokyo Broadcasting Station (TBS) and Mediacorp spoke to the media about the production process and their positive experience in their collaboration. “Mooncakes” was broadcasted on 24 December 2011 in Japan and on Christmas Day in Singapore.
Lead Actor Qi Yu Wu and actresses Shinobu Otsuka (middle) and Priscella Chen
30 November: Japan-Singapore Parliamentary Friendship League Assembly Meeting
At the 2nd assembly meeting of the Japan Singapore Parliamentary Friendship League held at the Diet building, Yoshihito Sengoku was elected as the new Chairman of the JSPFL. Ambassador Tan Chin Tiong delivered a speech on Singapore-Japan relations and took questions from the Japanese legislators.
Sengoku-sensei addressing members of then JSPFL
15 November: Opening of Taro Support Centre, Iwate Prefecture
The S$1.05 million temporary elderly care centre at Taro Ward, Miyako City in Iwate Prefecture was officially opened by Parliamentary Secretary of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Shogo Tsugawa and representatives from the Singapore Red Cross (SRC), Singapore Embassy in Tokyo, Miyako City and Iwate Prefecture Government. The Taro Support Centre, which will serve 1000 residents housed in the temporary housing development and the surrounding vicinity, is the first of several reconstruction projects that Singapore is funding from the donations collected by the SRC under the Japanese earthquake and tsunami fund. To date, the SRC has collected S$34 million of donations in Singapore.
Ribbon cutting ceremony at Opening of Taro Support Centre
(Picture courtesy of Foo Choo Wei)
Unveiling of the commemorative plague at the entrance of the Taro Support Centre
(Picture courtesy of Foo Choo Wei)
30 October to 2 November: Visit by Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo
Mrs Josephine Teo made her introductory visit to Japan, Mrs Teo met Senior Vice Minister for Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Jin Matsubara and several business leaders from the Japanese maritime and aviation sectors.
15 October: ASEAN Family Day
Due to inclement weather, the annual ASEAN Family Day was held at the Singapore Embassy this year instead of Shiokaze Park at Odaiba as originally planned. Still, diplomats and family members of the 10 ASEAN countries did not let the wet weather dampen their spirits. Besides tucking into the different dishes from each ASEAN country, the children played some games and everyone managed to have an enjoyable and memorable time.
Pot-luck lunch prepared by ASEAN Embassies
1 September: Singapore National Day Reception
Ambassador and Mrs Tan Chin Tiong hosted the Singapore’s 46th National Day Reception at the Imperial Hotel, where more than 600 senior Japanese politicians, government officials, prominent businessmen and distinguished guests turned up and savoured some popular Singapore cuisine like chicken rice and laksa.
Guests mingling at Singapore National Day Reception
27 August: Singapore Presidential Elections
Overseas polling for the Singapore Presidential Elections was conducted for the first time at the Embassy. About 170 registered Singaporean voters turned up to cast their ballot between 8 am to 8 pm.
Singapore Embassy in Tokyo Overseas Polling Centre
2 August: JET Programme Dinner Reception
This year, 23 Singaporeans have been selected to participate in the Japan English Teachers (JET) Programme. The majority have been posted to various prefectures throughout Japan for a one-year stint as Assistant Language Teachers. The Embassy hosted a dinner reception at a restaurant in Shinjuku to welcome them to Japan.
2011-2012 JET Participants
28 July: Raffles Programme Alumni Reception
Ambassador Tan Chin Tiong hosted the annual reception for alumni members of the Raffles Programme at the Embassy. The Raffles Programme aims to promote closer institutional ties between Japanese government officials and their Singapore counterparts. Since the programme was started in 1995, more than 80 senior Japanese officials have participated in this prestigious programme.
Ambassador Tan addressing the Raffles Programme alumni.
23 July: Singapore Embassy in Tokyo emerged victorious in bowling
A team of 7 representatives from the Embassy emerged champions of the 2011 ASEAN Committee in Tokyo Bowling Tournament held annually in July at the Shinagawa Bowling Centre.
The winning team and their supporters.
18 to 22 July: Visit by Chairman of Singapore Red Cross Tee Tua Ba
Singapore Red Cross Chairman Tee Tua Ba visited Tokyo, Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures to finalise plans on various reconstruction projects during his visit. He met Iwate Prefecture Governor Takuya Tasso, Miyagi Prefecture Vice-Governor Shuichi Miura, Japan Red Cross Chairman Tadateru Konoe and various Japanese prefecture officials.
Mr Tee also visited Miyako city in Iwate Prefecture, where a S$1.05 million temporary care facility for the elderly is currently being built with donations collected by the Singapore Red Cross from the Singapore public.
Iwate Prefecture Governor Takuya Tasso signs a Memorandum of Cooperation on the donation of a temporary care facility in Miyako city.
SRC Chairman Tee Tua Ba at the temporary housing community in Miyako city.
22 to 25 June: Visit by Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong
Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh Chok Tong received the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun from His Majesty Emperor Hirohito. During his visit, ESM Goh met Minister of Foreign Affairs Takeaki Matsumoto, Liberal Democratic Party President Sadakazu Tanigaki, Democratic Party of Japan Secretary-General Katsuya Okada, New Komei Party Chief Representative Yamaguchi and other senior politicians from the major political parties. ESM Goh also met several eminent Japanese businessmen in a dinner hosted by Ambassador Tan Chin Tiong.
L-R: Amb Tan, State Secretary for the Environment Shoichi Kondo, State Secretary for Internal Affairs and Communications Hideo Hiraoka, House of Representatives Member Shinji Tarutoko, ESM Goh Chok Tong and Parliamentary Vice Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications Seiji Osaka. Back Row (L-R) Members of Parliament Ong Teng Koon and Desmond Lee
ESM greeting Hitachi Chairman Emeritus Dr Tsutomu Kanai
27 to 30 June: Visit by Education Minister Heng Swee Keat
Minister for Education Heng Swee Keat visited Tokyo for the 14th OECD/Japan Seminar. During his trip, Minister Heng met Japan’s Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Yoshiaki Takaki, Senior Vice Minister Kan Suzuki as well as several prominent Japanese businessmen. Minister Heng also attended a charity classical concert featuring Singaporean violinist Tang Tee Koon.
Education Minister Heng Swee Keat with Singapore Violinist Ms Tang Tee Khoon (left) and Music Culture Exchange Association of Japan President and conductor Mitsuyoshi Oikawa (right) and Mrs Oikawa (extreme right)