Reception for the Celebration of the Emperor’s Birthday (February 21, 2024)

On Wednesday, February 21, a reception was held at the Ambassador's official residence to celebrate the emperor’s birthday with more than 200 guests. In his opening remarks, Ambassador Minami stated that in recent years relations between Japan and the Netherlands as well as international organizations in the Hague have strengthened, which was illustrated, for instance, by the visit of Japan’s Foreign Minister Kamikawa to the Netherlands in January of this year. He also mentioned that strengthening cooperation between Japan and the Netherlands as well as with international organizations remains important in the current international state of affairs.
Afterwards, the Chairman of the First Chamber Dr. Jan Anthonie Bruijn introduced the history of the Emperor of Japan, beginning with Emperor Jinmu (the first Emperor). Dr. Bruijn proposed a toast to congratulate the Emperor on his birthday, and expressed his hope for the further development of relations between Japan and the Netherlands. The guests enjoyed colorful and creative Japanese cuisine prepared by Mr. Sotozono who is the official chef of the residence, a sushi corner featuring fresh scallops and fish from Fukushima Prefecture, and a Japanese sake corner presenting various sakes from Saga Prefecture served in Arita-Porcelain sake cups. which according to many guests was both beautiful and delicious.  Altogether it was a great opportunity for the guests to experience authentic Japanese food culture, with many commenting that the food was exquisite.