Japan Autumn Festival in Hong Kong – Rediscovering Nippon 2021 > Announcements
Message from Ambassador Okada

Thank you for visiting the official website of the “Japan Autumn Festival in Hong Kong – Rediscovering Nippon”. I am Kenichi Okada, the new Consul-General of Japan in Hong Kong. I joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1988 and, one year later, I undertook a two-month summer language course at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. It is a great honour and pleasure for me to return to Hong Kong, a city that has developed and prospered so much over the past 30 years, and which has deep relations with Japan. I will work hard to promote the relationship between Japan and Hong Kong, and I would appreciate your encouragement and support.

We are pleased to announce that the “Japan Autumn Festival in Hong Kong – Rediscovering Nippon” will be held again this year.

The Japan Autumn Festival has been held since 2016 and is now in its 6th year. Thanks to you all, the Festival has grown to become the largest Japan-related event in Hong Kong.

Last year, in spite of the difficult situation regarding COVID-19, 88 events were held. Some of the events adopted an online format, with many people from Hong Kong, Japan and the world able to attend. This year, more than 100 events will be held both online and offline. We would like to express our sincere thanks to all event organisers, participants and to the Executive Committee who have been responsible for planning and managing the Festival. The Festival is still calling for event applications and we hope every one of you will respond positively by registering your events.

Hong Kong is an extremely important partner for Japan, with close economic relations and considerable personal exchange between the two places. More than 1,400 Japanese companies are currently operating in Hong Kong and we are very grateful for Hong Kong’s efficient and fair business environment that supports these companies. There is also a sense of individual friendship and trust between Japan and Hong Kong that goes beyond governmental and organisational interactions. Japanese culture, language, food and goods abound throughout Hong Kong and Japan has always been a favourite tourist destination for Hong Kong people. In the three consecutive years up to 2019, prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, a total of 2.2 million people, or one-third of Hong Kong's total population of 7.5 million, visited Japan every year. I am so grateful to the people of Hong Kong for loving Japan so much!

It is a great pity that the extremely frequent travel between Japan and Hong Kong has now stopped. Countries and regions around the world are still battling the pandemic and it may take some more time before travel can resume. Our Consulate-General has also received many enquiries from people asking when they can go to Japan. We would be delighted if, through this Japan Autumn Festival, we could show our gratitude to the people of Hong Kong for their unquenchable and ardent "love for Japan", while being able to make you feel like you are in Japan, although the present situation prohibits that from being possible. When you can travel to Japan again, please visit as many times as you can, so that you can make up for what you could not do during the pandemic. Especially in the prefectures and cities where the population is small, the risk of being infected by COVID-19 is low. The people of Japan’s Tohoku region have not forgotten the support they received from Hong Kong in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake and they look forward to your visit as an opportunity to return the favour. For example, as you know, on 21st September the U.S. government lifted all restrictions on Japanese food products from prefectures hit by the Earthquake in 2011. Please feel free to visit the Tohoku region again when you can. I myself also travelled to the Fukushima Prefecture with my family in summer 4 years ago, and we enjoyed the local cuisine and hot springs.

Over the next two months, a variety of events are planned, with contents covering F&B, arts and crafts, performing arts, sports, movies, seminars and education, alongside other campaigns etc. We hope many people will join us.

In particular, the F&B events will feature not only everyone’s favourite Japanese cuisine and sake, but also Japanese wine and shochu, that is rich in regional characteristics and with a deep flavour. Please stay tuned!

We hope to see you at the various Japan Autumn Festival events! Thank you.

OKADA Kenichi
Consul-General (Ambassador)
Consulate-General of Japan