Tonga commemorated 83rd Birthday of His Majesty, Emperor Akihito

Their Royal Highnesses, Crown Prince Tupouto‘a ‘Ulukalala and Crown Princess Sinaitakala Tu‘imatamoana-‘i-Fanakavakilangi Tuku‘aho graced with their presences the reception to celebrate the 83rd Birthday of His Majesty Emperor Akihito, of Japan hosted by His Excellency Mr. Yukio Numata, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Kingdom of Tonga last night, 24 November 2016, at his residence in ‘Anana,
Lord Ma’afu, Minister in Charge and Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs and Acting Minister for Education and Training attended the reception along with Lord Chief Justice Owen Paulsen, His Eminence Cardinal Mafi, H.E. Mr. Huang Huanguang, Ambassador of China to Tonga, H.E. Ms. Sarah Walsh, High Commissioner of New Zealand to Tonga, and H. E. Mr. Andrew Ford, High Commissioner of Australia to Tonga. Also present were the Ministers of the Crown, Nobles of the Realm, Numbers of Parliament, Church Leaders, Honorary Consuls and other dignitaries from the Public and Private Sectors.
The 23rd of December is the birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan. He is the 125th Emperor who succeeded to the throne on the 7 January 1989.
“Every year since the ascension of the Emperor to the throne, the 23rd of December has become a day of countrywide celebration for the people of Japan. Our nation’s steadfast adherence to unity and harmony is motivated by our Emperor’s dignity,” stated His Excellency Mr. Yukio Numata in his address during the reception.
His Excellency highlighted 2016 as a year of “Fetaakinima,” in Japanese as “TASUKE-AI,” defining that transcend borders, cultural distinctions and variances can hearten the existing friendship between people, government and nations, through the spirit of working hand in hand to help each other.
In his speech the Ambassador gave emphasis on Japan’s determination to pursue peace and prosperity in the international community, including the 60th Anniversary of its accession to the United Nations next month and its ratification of the Paris Agreement early this month. The Ambassador also highlighted that bilateral cooperation including Japanese Grant Aid such as the Domestic Wharf upgrade in Nuku‘alofa launched by His Majesty King Tupou VI in April, Grant Assistance for Human Security Projects, technical assistance, JICA volunteers, people to people exchange and cultural interchanges have significantly contributed to strengthen the relations between Japan and the Kingdom of Tonga.
Lord Ma’afu, conveyed on behalf of His Majesty King Tupou VI, the Government and people of the Kingdom of Tonga the warm and heartfelt wishes to His Majesty Emperor Akihito on his 83rd Birthday. He reiterated the relations between the Government of Japan and the Government of Tonga have tremendously flourished over forty years, with the personal ties between the Tongan Royal Family and the Japanese Imperial Household over forging warm and cordial relations.
Lord Ma’afu acknowledged the ongoing bilateral assistance from the Government of Japan commendable for its size and outreach, and the overarching objective of supporting Tonga’s National Development priorities.
The toast, for prosperity of both nations were proposed following the leader’s addresses and national anthems, and the 250 guests were gathered to enjoy various Japanese cuisine prepared with a special rice “Koshihikari” brought especially for the reception, from the Niigata prefecture. Two different labels of Japanese sake, Masumi and Sasamasamune, and Japanese wines, from Kumamoto and other prefectures were also served to the guests delight.

The arrival of Their Royal Highnesses, Crown Prince Tupouto‘a ‘Ulukalala and Crown Princess Sinaitakala Tuku’aho.(left)

Lord Ma’afu, Minister in Charge and Acting Minister for Foreing Affairs and Acting Minister for Education and Trainingwith H.E Mr. Yukio Numata and Mrs. Numata.(right)

The Toast, for the prosperity of both nations proposed by H.E Mr. Yukio Numata.(left)

The Toast ceremony, celebrated by Their Royal Highness along with H.E Mr. Yukio Numata and Mrs. Numata.(right)

H.E Mr.Yukio Numata received His Eminence Cardinal Mafi who attended the reception.(left)

Their Royal Highnesses introduced to “Paro,” the therapeutic robot from Japan displayed at the reception.(right)

Hon. Fanetupouvava’u Tu’ivakano and guests at the reception.(left)

Police Commissioner Stephen J. Caldwell with Mrs. Cladwell, ‘Aminiasi  Kefu the Acting Attorney General.(right)

JICA and Japanese guests at the reception.(left)

Lord Tupou, Mr. Michael F.O’shannassy, Lord Chief Justice Owen G.  Paulsen and Mr. Paul Karalus.(right)

Their Excellencies and Parliament Members at the reception.(left)

Guests were served with Japanese sake and wine brought from Japan.(right)

Reception to commemorate the 83th birthday of His Emperor Akihito in Nuku’alofa, 24 November 2016