Jul 142013

MANILA, Philippines – The Embassy of Japan in cooperation with the Japan Foundation Manila and various organizations has lined up a variety of exciting activities for July and the rest of the year in celebration of the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month and the 40th year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation.

In 2006, during the Golden Jubilee Celebration of the diplomatic relations between Japan and the Philippines, July 23 was designated as the official date for the Philippines-Japan Friendship Day and July as the official month for the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month. Seven years have passed since its inauguration, and the celebration for the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month this 2013 is now bigger than ever.  

This year also marks the 40th year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation with the theme “Thoughts Connected, Future Connected.” Through the years, ASEAN and Japan have forged close cooperation towards peace, stability, development and prosperity in Asia.

J-Pop anime singing contest

The Embassy of Japan in the Philippines is bringing back the much-awaited J-Pop Anime Singing Contest for its fifth installment. This will be a chance for Japanophiles and music enthusiasts to display their talents.

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After receiving and screening entries from all over the Philippines, 10 finalists have been chosen: Alexyz Arcilla, Diana Tabitha Caro, Melrick James L. Celajes, Sheena Stacey Gonzales, Hikari, Incognito, Infinity, MAI, Pebbles Montales, and Vinar Takumi. They will perform on July 20, starting at 1 p.m., at the SM Cinema Center Stage, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City.

Alongside with the 2013 J-POP Anime Singing Contest grand finale is the Cosplay Mini-Contest where 10 finalists — Cristina Adorable, Rica Gabrielle Ortiz, Kathleene Pacao, Gregory Cole Mckenzie Reyes, Crystal Sugar, Icee Ticar, Christine Jean Blardony, Seir Luke Buelos, Shan Lowel Cruz, and Ashley Misaki Francisco — will display their most creative and alluring costume as they imitate the signature move of their favorite anime characters.

This year’s special guest, Joe Inoue (Team J-Melo), co-host of NHK’s J-Melo and the singer of Naruto’s opening theme Closer, will judge the contests and perform during the event.

The 2013 J-Pop Anime Singing Contest and Cosplay Mini-Contest is organized by the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines in cooperation with the Japan Foundation Manila, and supported by Ajinomoto Philippines Corporation, Animation International Licensing Phils., Canon Information Technologies Philippines, Canon Marketing (Philippines), Canon Business Machines (Philippines), Center for Pop Music Philippines, Hero TV, Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines, Panasonic Philippines Corporation, SM Cinema, Sony Philippines, Toei Animation Phils., Toshiba Philippines, Uniqlo Philippines, Yakult Philippines, and Yoshinoya.

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Anime movies

In cooperation with the Film Development Council of the Philippines under its Film Cultural Exchange Program and SM Cinema, the Embassy of Japan presents The Place Promised in Our Early Days on July 20, 7 p.m., and July 21, 2:30 p.m., and 5 Centimeters Per Second on July 21 at 11:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at SM Cinema 6, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City.

The Place Promised in Our Early Days is about middle school friends namely Hiroki and Takuya who share two common interests: a girl named Sayuri and a plan to build a plane to fly to the mysterious tower they can see across the straits in Enzo (aka Hokkaido).  They both pledge to fly there with Sayuri one day. However, the three friends get separated because of time and circumstances.  A few years later, their paths cross again as the two boys learn that Sayuri has been asleep for years and cannot wake.

5 Centimeters Per Second is the story of friendship between Tono Takaki and Shinohara Akari. They were close friends but as time goes by, their friendship grows farther and farther apart. They become separated because of their families. However, they continue to exchange contact through writing each other letters. As time continues to trudge on, their contact with one another begins to cease.

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Naoko Matsuoka and Satsuki Hayashida at UP

Japanese pianist Naoko Matsuoka and soprano Satsuki Hayashida together with Filipino pianist  Carolyn Cheng and bassist Rainier Cruz will have a special concert celebrating friendship and music on Aug. 8, 6:30 p.m., at Abelardo Hall, UP College of Music, Diliman, Q.C. The master class will be held on the same day and venue at 10 a.m.

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7th International silent film festival at the Shang

Filipino moviegoers will once again be treated to the quality of Japanese cinema with silent flick Keisatsukan (Police Officer), one of the films that will be shown from Aug. 23 to 25 at Shangri-La Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. This will give Japanese film viewers a whole new experience of Japanese culture.     

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Wasabi at CCP

The instrumental quartet, Wasabi will surely captivate Filipinos by playing cool, stylish, and modern beats with their traditional Japanese instruments. This extraordinary group plays traditional instruments to produce not so traditional music. The group is composed of Ryōichirō Yoshida playing the shamisen, Hiromu Motonaga with the shakuhachi, Naosaburō Bihō on the taiko drums, and Shin Ichikawa on the koto

The concert will be held on Oct. 19, 7 p.m., at CCP Little Theater, CCP Complex, Pasay City. The lecture will be held on Oct. 18, 2 p.m., at Abelardo Hall, UP College of Music, Diliman, Q.C.

For inquiries, call the Embassy of Japan at 551-5710 local 2318 or e-mail jicc-mnl@ma.mofa.go.jp.

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