This time of year in Japan sees both beginnings and farewells. With the falling of the cherry blossoms, many Japanese companies start their new fiscal year and new employees begin their corporate careers. In NSW too, we have a newly-elected government; AJS-NSW is reaching out to the new Premier, who is our Patron, alongside the Consul-General of Japan in Sydney.
Among our membership, we have seen the departure of a number of members whose enthusiastic support of our events was very much appreciated. Notably, five staff members of CLAIR Sydney (Council of Local Authorities for International Relations) – Deputy Director Makio Yamada and Assistant Directors Yuya Negi, Hiroki Ishida, Akiko Okazaki and Taiki Ito - returned to their LGAs in Japan to take up new posts. We wish them well for their future careers and look forward to meeting the new CLAIR staff soon.
Our major upcoming event is our annual Student Awards, to be held on May 11th at the Japan Foundation Sydney. For many years, AJS-NSW has provided Awards and cash prizes to students of Japanese and Japan studies at six (now seven!) universities in the Greater Sydney region. This event is always a highlight, and we hope many members and friends will join us to meet our student awardees and celebrate their achievements. Consul-General Shuichi Tokuda will present the Awards and make some keynote remarks, and the Awards will be followed by networking over drinks and bento. See below for registration link.
Watch our Facebook and Instagram pages for a competition to win tickets to Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, one of the headline films in the Sydney Film Festival, which starts on June 7th. Haruki Murakami’s short stories come to life in this fantastical animation about a giant talkative frog, a lost cat, an existential banker and more peculiar characters in Tokyo.
We look forward to seeing you soon, hopefully at our Student Awards event.
Anita Byrnes, President
Student Awards Evening
Date: Thursday 11th May 6PM - 8PM
Location: The Japan Foundation, Sydney. 4F Central Park, Broadway
Event report: Australia/Japan Cross-border Inheritance 101
H&H Lawyers recently hosted AJS members to an exclusive overview of everything you need to consider in estate planning if you have assets in both Japan and Australia. Dai Ueda, Solicitor, summarized the many differences in law, definitions and customs between the two countries, information that was very relevant to the attendees. H&H kindly hosted networking drinks as well. Event report here.
This year’s first Shaberanaito しゃべらナイト, organized jointly with JETAA and held on March 24th was a resounding success! A record number of people enjoyed using Japanese to interact with each other and Izakaya Masuya provided delicious food and some fun quizzes. See our Facebook page for pictures.
Supported Events & Community Info
Discover the world of bento boxes with OH!Bento, an exhibition that celebrates this universally loved aspect of Japan’s rich food culture. Exhibition at the Japan Foundation, open Mon–Fri: 10am–6pm Sat: 11am–4pm. Details here.
Cowra Autumn Festival
May is a perfect time to visit the Cowra Japanese Garden. You can enjoy weekend craft workshops and the brilliant autumn colours. See website here.
Australia-Japan Sports News
2023 Women's World Cup Soccer
The 2023 Women's World Cup schedule has been announced, with games starting on July 20th. This will be the first time it has been held in Australia and New Zealand. Nadeshiko Japan will play in Group C, against Costa Rica, Zambia and Spain, and all their group games will take place in NZ. Australia is in Group B, against Ireland, Nigeria and Canada.
ChatGPT and the response of Japanese companies, from the Japan Times
ChatGPT, the AI-based chatbot developed by Microsoft-backed OpenAI, is making waves around the world, due to its ability to find and summarize information, draft documents and check programming code, all from a natural language query. Japanese companies have had varied responses, according to The Japan Times article summarized here.
National Federation of Australia-Japan Societies
AJS-NSW is a member of the National Federation of Australia-Japan Societies. From the website here, you can check out what other Societies around Australia have planned, and participation in their Zoom events is often free as well.
Some links for related communities
Consulate General of Japan, Sydney Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CGJSYD
Like to join the Society?
Would you like to support our mission of friendship between Australia and Japan? You can now sign up for membership online.