Japan Celebrates Alongside New England at the Emperor’s Birthday Reception

Consul General Michii and Mrs. Michii hosted Emperor Akihito’s 85th Birthday Reception in Boston on December 5. Around 400 guests from across New England joined the celebration, including leaders in politics, business, education, culture, and the arts. Representatives from the Japanese community and members of the Consular Corps also attended.

The ceremony began with performances of the Japanese and American national anthems by Professor Tiger Okoshi from the Berklee College of Music, one of his students, and a Japanese Taiko drummer. Consul General Michii then delivered his keynote address, followed by words from Massachusetts State Representative Keiko Orrall and Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development and International Trade in Massachusetts. William Hunt, Chairman of the Japan Society of Boston, later made a toast to the deep ties between New England and Japan.

In his remarks, Consul General Michii first honored the late President George H.W. Bush in a moment of silence. The Consul General then emphasized the strong, cooperative relations flourishing between New England and Japan in today’s rapidly changing international environment. He also highlighted contributions by many groups and individuals promoting U.S.-Japan relations in areas such as education, business, science, and technology.

During the evening, Urasenke Boston’s Glenn Pereira and his team presented two tea ceremony demonstrations. Guests also had the opportunity to visit Japanese corporate and municipal exhibition booths set up just outside the ballroom.
Meticulously crafted flower arrangements by Ikebana International’s Boston Chapter decorated the perimeter of the venue.

1.Reception hall

2. Professor Tiger Okoshi and band play the American and Japanese national anthems

3. Consul General Michii delivers keynote address

4. MA State Representative Keiko Orrall makes remarks

5. MA Assistant Secretary of Business Development and International Trade Nam Pham makes remarks

6. Japan Society of Boston Chairman Bill Hunt proposes a toast

7. MA State Representatives Donald Wong (second from left) and Keiko Orrall (second from right) with Consul General Michii and Mrs. Michii

8. MA State Representative Denise Provost (center)

9. Boston Police Commissioner William Gross (second from left), Joslin Diabetes Center President Peter Amenta (third from left) with Consul General Michii and Mrs. Michii

10. Tea ceremony demonstration with Urasenke Boston’s Glenn Pereira