Reception in Celebration of His Imperial Majesty The Emperor of Japan’s Birthday
Consul-General, Mr Hosaka and Mrs Hosaka; Your Honours; Members of Parliament and Councillors; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen. It is a great pleasure and honour for Kaye and me to join the Consul-General and Mrs Hosaka, staff of the Consulate-General in Brisbane, and their guests here this evening, in celebrating the birthday of His Imperial Majesty The Emperor of Japan.
Relations between Queensland and Japan, and between Australia and Japan, are long-standing, warm, and mutually beneficial in every sphere from trade and investment to cultural exchanges.
The Premier has not long returned from her second official visit to Japan, during which Ms Palaszczuk reaffirmed the closeness of the relationship.
Kaye and I were also privileged to make an official visit to Japan in late August and early September this year.
We had an enjoyable, fascinating and wide-ranging program.
Our visit paid tribute to Queensland’s Sister-State relationship with Saitama Prefecture, and highlighted Queensland-Japan links in many areas including culture, education, technology and innovation, and trade and investment.
It is an amazingly multifaceted relationship, mutually revelatory if I may put it that way, and I was extremely proud to see the mutual respect which characterizes our relationship, and our interest in learning from each other. And yes… a highlight certainly was dining under the auspices of the “Iron Chef”.
I take this opportunity to thank the Consul-General and Mrs Kumiko Hosaka for their generous and invaluable advice to us prior to our visit, which included the very great honour of dinner with them here at the Official Residence.
In celebrating His Imperial Majesty The Emperor’s birthday today, we are also celebrating the achievements of the Japanese people during His Majesty’s reign to the present day, and the deepening of Queensland and Australia’s relationship with Japan during that time.
His Majesty has been, since 1989, a wonderful symbol of continuity, stability and unity for Japan’s democratic institutions and for the Japanese people.
As the representative in Queensland of another sovereign, The Queen of Australia, I am cognisant of the great importance of His Imperial Majesty The Emperor’s role, and the great warmth and deepest respect which the Japanese people hold for His Majesty.
On behalf of the people of Queensland, it is my great pleasure to mark His Majesty’s birthday here in Queensland by extending my warmest regards, and best wishes for His Majesty’s health and happiness.
I would be most grateful, Consul-General, if you would convey to the Imperial Palace, through the appropriate channels, these sincere sentiments on the occasion of His Majesty’s birthday. Thank you.