(Announcement) Congratulations Honorary Consul Yoshikawa

The Kansai Consular Corps wishes to extend our deep congratulations to Mr. Yoshikawa, Honorary Consul of Chile in Osaka and current Chairman of the Osaka Foundation of International Exchange (OFIX).

Honorary Consul Yoshikawa was recently recognized by the Japan Minister of Foreign Affairs for his outstanding contribution within the field of international exchange.

Congratulations, Honorary Consul Yoshikawa, on your wonderful achievement!


(Event Summary) The 27th Kansai Tour of the Kansai Consular Forum

The 27th Tour of the Kansai Consular Forum was held on 4 July 2018. The theme of the tour was “Advanced Housing Technologies in Kansai” and participants were treated to a tour of the Sekisui Heim Industry Co., LTD Kinki-regional plant (located in Nara Prefecture).

Over 24 Consuls-General, Trade Promotion Officers, and other officials representing 18+ countries joined the program.

Following a tour of the plant, which covered important topics such as Sekisui Heim’s technology focus on energy, efficiency and durability/disaster resilience, a lively question-and-answer discussion ensued.

The Kansai Consular Corps would like to extend its deep gratitude to our colleagues at the Kansai Consular Forum for coordinating this event on our behalf, as well as to Sekisui Heim Industry Co., LTD for an informative and meaningful program.

A summary of the event can be found on the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) website as follows:

English: http://www.kansai.meti.go.jp/2kokusai/ryoujikan/english_consulate_forum_top.html

Japanese: http://www.kansai.meti.go.jp/2kokusai/ryoujikan/top_jyouhou.html

(Announcement) Free Monthly Seminar (in Japanese) Hosted by KECC

The KECC will be hosting its monthly free seminar on the evening of 26 July 2018 in Osaka.

The link to register (Japanese only) is https://kecc.jp/seminar.html

This seminar will explain points to note when hiring foreign employees and how foreign businesses might handle labor/employment related matters in Japan. The seminar will be conducted in Japanese.

All are welcome to join!


【第4回 公開セミナー&雇用労働相談会のお知らせ】



開催日時:7/26(木)17:00〜20:00 ※16:30受付開始

開催場所:淀屋橋三井ビルディング(淀屋橋odona)9階会議室9-1(有限責任監査法人トーマツ 大阪事務所内)


(Announcement) International Day of Yoga, Kansai, 2018 in Kobe

(Note from the Executive Secretariat) Please allow us to showcase this essay, produced under the newly forming KCC Internship program, with special thanks to the Consulate General of India in Osaka-Kobe (website:  https://www.indconosaka.org,) not only for bringing together the Kansai community for a wonderful “International Yoga Day” event, but for also cooperating to develop the next generation of Kansai-area youth with this PR/Communications opportunity! Also special thanks to Ms. Natsu Kubota for her terrific work and the young professionals at UNISC Kansai.

The next International Yoga Day is on 24 June 2018 in Kobe City.

We are looking forward to seeing you all there!

#IDY2018 International Day of Yoga, Kansai, 2018 in Kobe. #Meriken Park. Free entry for the 1000+ persons #yoga. Opens 9.15 am, Sunday 24 June 2018. https://t.co/ybWoOgnls2

Essay on 2017 International Day Of Yoga Event held in Kyoto in 2017
Based on the personal experience of Ms. Natsu Kubota, Intern with Kansai Consular Corps (KCC)

In the early morning hours of 18 June 2017, more than 1000 residents from throughout the Kansai region, as well as tourists and students such as myself, assembled in front of Heian Jingu Shrine, which was built in 1895 for 1100th anniversary of the establishment of Heian-kyo, ancient capital of Japan. Regardless of age, gender and nationality, these people gathered in Kyoto to experience traditional Indian culture together. And in one moment, under the iconic red gate (torii) of the shrine, I felt Kansai was united with the world by Yoga. It was “International Yoga Day” – a celebration designated by the United Nations in 2014 after Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, proposed the significance of Yoga and the contribution it could make to the world. Yoga originated in India as a way of recognizing the health of both body and mind through mediation.

The Kansai celebration was held in Kyoto with the support and guidance of the Indian Consulate of Osaka-Kobe. As an intern for the Kansai Consular Corps, I joined the event with several of my university classmates to learn more about India and Indian culture.

Following the main outdoor yoga event in the morning was a day-long series of activities that included yoga lessons, Indian dance and music performances and traditional arts and crafts, as food stalls featuring Indian cuisine. At Yoga Live area, people who wanted to learn Yoga were able to take Yoga lessons. There were 5 spaces and a total of 25 lessons were offered, ensuring ample opportunity for all guests. Every class had a unique feature. For example, I was impressed to see yoga lessons for persons with disabilities, medical yoga, and a lesson called “yoga and religion”. There was even a lesson that explored the relationship between Yoga and love. Meanwhile, the event was filled with Yoga and Indian cultural contents. I expected to see Indian art and cultural offerings, but what surprised me were the Kyoto offerings from local shops. Some sold beautiful sweets such as cookies and muffins, others showed Bonsai (“bonsai” literally means “planted in a container” and is a traditional art invented in ancient China and adapted to Japan).  The fusion of Indian and Japanese culture made me feel the close connection between the two countries.

As I walked around, enjoying the event, I also spoke with many other visitors, eager to see how they were enjoying the experience. I could feel the energy among the participants. “The yoga instructor spoke in Japanese as well as English so that guests who are not good at Japanese could enjoy the lesson, too”, a woman from Australia said. International Yoga Day (IYD) is held all over the world, but IYD in Kansai was globalized as well as localized.

I was so excited about my experience at the International Yoga Day that I felt I wanted to learn more about the event. How did the Consulate have the idea to hold IYD? How did they coordinate this event? What is their main purpose, etc.? In order to learn more, I contacted the Indian Consulate and requested a meeting and more information.

I arrived at the Indian Consulate with 3 UNISC colleagues and the Vice Consul welcomed us. At first, I asked some questions for IYD. When I said “why did they choose the venue of Heian shrine?” she answered “We wanted to select a place that has heritage value. Our goal is to promote places that are regarded as special within Japanese culture at the same time as we promote our own culture.”

“Yoga was one of the exercises I did to lose weight”, said Sara, a UNISC colleague.  She used to take Yoga class in her high school and realized that she experienced psychological benefits in addition to physically ones.

After we students expressed our thoughts about Yoga, the Vice Consul told us that Yoga has now become an international practice, making it possible to be open to various definitions and styles of Yoga. Yet, despite these variations, having one standard of Yoga is also important in order to preserve the original heritage and quality of yoga.  I thought this balance between traditional and new interpretations was interesting.

Before my visit to the Consulate, I viewed yoga as a physical exercise, especially for women, and the image of “Western-style” Yoga was very strong in my mind. However, I learned that Yoga is originally more about controlling your body by controlling your mind through breathing.

We were informed about the Common Yoga Protocol designed by the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India (GOI).According to yoga protocol, Yoga is defined “a spiritual discipline based on an extremely subtle science which focuses on bringing harmony between mind and body.” Unlike Yoga in Western cultures, which practices dynamic Yoga posture, original Yoga was more static. To breathe deeply and calm down for a couple of minutes every day whether in office, school or at home, does not require any warming up or special clothing to do yoga.

I knew that Yoga is also registerd with UNESCO as in intangible world heritage. India is promoting Yoga by holding events to mark the special Day. International Yoga Day was celebrated in Kyoto-Kansai,  it was simultaneously celebrated during the week of 21 June by approximately 180 Indian Embassies/Posts including the Indian Consulate in Osaka-Kobe around the world.

GOI’s Ministry of AYUSH, Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) published a booklet prepared in consultation with leading Yoga experts and heads of the eminent Yoga Institutions of India called ‘COMMON YOGA PROTOCOL’  and is available at the link http://www.mea.gov.in/images/pdf/common-yoga-protocol.pdf. The information provided in this Yoga protocol is intended to create general awareness among people and community to get harmony & peace through Yoga.

In recognition of a huge demand for Yoga experts at national and international level and with a desire to spread India’s traditional knowledge worldwide,  Ministry of AYUSH along with Quality Council of India (QCI) launched two Schemes in June 2015 with a robust system of evaluation and certification of ‘Yoga Professionals’  and ‘Yoga Schools’ based on international best practices, to enhance their credibility and for marketing and popularising Yoga globally.   We were also informed of the link http://yogacertification.qci.org.in/. Many Indian Universities now also offer a Master and Doctorate Degree in Yoga

Many people are familiar with Yoga throughout the world , but I suspect that it is still mostly known by its “western” variations. The reason International Yoga day is attractive to many people and obviously successful due to the coordinators’ flexible and tolerant attitude, as I witnessed in the event and in my interviews with participants. There is an international stream where people prefer tradition and sustainability living with nature.

Anyway, from now on, I would like to practice Yoga following protocol!

—————————————  * *  *  ————————————–

Recent Welcomes and Farewells to the Kansai Consular Corps

With the coming of spring (and an unexpectedly early, but still beautiful, cherry blossom season in the Kansai region) the Kansai Consular Corps experienced a number of changes to its membership.

The Kansai Consular Corps wishes to extend a warm welcome to Mr. Oh Tai-kyu, newly arrived Consul-General of the Republic of Korea in Osaka. We hope you will enjoy your time in Kansai.

The Kansai Consular Corps also wishes to bid farewell, and express our heartfelt gratitude, to the following members:

1. Mr. Ha Ta-Yun, former Consul-General of the Republic of Korea in Osaka

2. Mr. Hideki Yokomizu, Honorary Consul of Kazakhstan (retired)

3. Mr. Akio Tsujii, Honorary Consul of Spain (retired)


Welcome Two New Members to the Kansai Consular Corps

The Kansai Consular Corps is honored to welcome our newest members:

Mr. Vu Tuan Hai, Consul-General, Consulate General of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in Osaka and Mr. Luigi Diodati, Consul-General, Consulate General of Italy in Osaka.

We hope you enjoy your time in the beautiful and welcoming region of Kansai, and we look forward to many fruitful exchanges with you in the future.


(The Kansai Consular Corps Members Directory has been updated to reflect these changes, so please be sure to download the most recent version.)

Announcement of the New Kansai Consular Corps Dean Released by the KCC Executive Committee

Last week, the Executive Committee of the Kansai Consular Corps released a statement announcing the appointment of our new Dean. The announcement can be downloaded here: KCC Announcement – New Dean 9-17


For your convenience, the text also follows below:

“The Executive Committee of the Kansai Consular Corps (“KCC”) has the great pleasure to announce that after the departure of Mr. Roderick Wols, former Dean of the Kansai Consular Corps and Consul-General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Osaka-Kobe, the new Dean was selected and shall herewith be officially announced.


His name, position and background are as follows:


Mr. Rafael Aparicio Cedeno, Consul-General of the Republic of Panama in Kobe


His background: Consul-General Aparicio, age 33, has served in his current post

since 2014. His area of jurisdiction includes Kansai, Chugoku, Shikoku and Kyushu.

He is an Industrial Engineer who specialized in International Trade and Logistics

and also has a background in maritime-port affairs.


Additionally, we kindly ask you to take notice that the Executive Committee of the Kansai Consular Corps is complete again and consisting of the following members:


Dean:            Mr. Rafael Aparicio Cedeno, Consul-General of the Republic of Panama in Kobe

Vice-Dean:   Mr. Dieter Sommerhalder, Honorary Consul-General of Switzerland in Osaka

Ms. Aya Tsuda, acting on behalf of Vice-Dean Ushio Tsuda, Honorary Consul of Canada

Executive Secretariat: Ms. Angela Troianos


We would like to take this opportunity to thank you very much for your support in the past and we look forward to a good cooperation also in years ahead.


Sincerely yours,



Executive Committee

The KCC Members Directory Has Been Updated

Greetings from the Kansai Consular Corps office in Sannomiya, Kobe!

I hope this post finds you well.

Please note that the Members Directory of the Kansai Consular Corps has been updated to reflect three new additions to our KCC this past summer.

The Kansai Consular Corps would also like to avail itself of the opportunity to formally welcome our newest members who arrived in August:

Ms. Karen Kelley, Consul-General, US Consulate General in Osaka-Kobe

Mr. Munin Paniswasd, Consul-General, Royal Thai Consulate in Osaka

Mr. Gerard Michels, Consul-General, Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Osaka-Kobe

We hope you will enjoy your service in the Kansai region and all that the area has to offer.




Invitation from the Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Osaka – 7th Kazakhstan Photography Exhibition in Osaka

Please find below an invitation for members and friends of the Kansai Consular Corps, including the Kansai community at large. This opportunity comes from our colleagues in the Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Osaka.

I’m really excited about this exhibit, and hope to see you there!



We would like to express our thanks for your patronage.

Since the establishment of the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Osaka in December 2009, it has been committed to the promotion, in the Kansai Region, of friendship and interchange as well as the sharing of support activities between Japan and the Republic of Kazakhstan.

As part of our efforts, we will hold a photography exhibition to highlight and promote the splendor of the Republic of Kazakhstan. On August 29 during the exhibition period is the United Nations International Day against Nuclear Tests. The Republic of Kazakhstan initiated the U.N. resolution to commemorate the closure of its nuclear test site constructed by the former Soviet Union. The exhibition will display photographs that illustrate Kazakhstan’s initiatives for world peace in commemoration of the International Day against Nuclear Tests, as well as its magnificent nature, abundant natural resources, and modernization.

Expo 2017, an international exposition, is also taking place from June to September 2017 in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. The expo’s theme is “Future Energy.” The Japan Pavilion is showcasing Japan’s cutting-edge energy technologies and initiatives. It is also conducting a campaign for Osaka’s bidding for Expo 2025 and showing photos of its campaign.

We look forward to your visit at the exhibition.


  1. Event: 7th Republic of Kazakhstan Photography Exhibition in Osaka

Hosted by: Honorary Consul of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Osaka

Supported by: Toshiba Corporation


  1. Period: August 28 (Mon.) ̶̶̶̶ September 1 (Fri.), 2017

9:00 am to 5:00 pm


  1. Place: Meeting lounge

Kansai Branch Office of Toshiba Corporation,

27th floor of the Umeda Hankyu Building

Address: 8-1 Kakuda-cho, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi

(27th floor of the Umeda Hankyu Building Office Tower)


  1. Showpieces:

(1) Panels and photos showing outline of Kazakhstan, purposes and background of the International Day against Nuclear Tests, magnificent nature, abundant natural resources and attractive townscapes

(2) Photos showing Expo 2017 in Astana and its Japan Pavilion

(3) Fork art of Kazakhstan


  1. Note: You do not need to sign up in advance to enter an exhibition. When you come,

please hand over your business card at the reception or put it into a box at the lounge.


Sincerely yours,


Eiji Kanefuji

Secretariat of the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Osaka








  • 催し名  :「カザフスタン共和国 第7回紹介写真展」




2.開催日時  :2017年8月28日(月)~9月1日(金) 5日間



3.開催場所  :株式会社東芝 関西支社内 梅田阪急ビル27階 商談スペース内



4.展示内容  :①「国家概要」「核実験に反対する国際デーの主旨・背景等」





5.ご連絡事項 :事前のご登録は必要ありませんが、お手数ですが、ご来場、ご見学頂いた方々におかれましては、お名刺を受付でお渡し頂くか、会場内のお名刺入れケースに入れて頂くようお願い致します。




在大阪カザフスタン共和国名誉領事館 事務局 兼藤、稲垣

(Event Summary) 25th Kansai Tour of the Kansai Consular Forum

On 5 July 2017 the Kansai Consular Forum hosted the 25th Kansai Tour. More than 30 Consuls and trade officials, including members of the Kansai Consular Corps, participated in the tour.

The overarching purpose of the Kansai Tour is to showcase tourism destinations, businesses and economic development partnerships in selected areas of the Kansai region. The tours are coordinated several times per year by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), and other organizations that constitute the Consular Forum. This time, the theme was “Excellent technologies of Kansai-based companies that can support society in lesser-known fields.” KCC members were provided with an opportunity to gain insight into noteworthy Kansai industries they might not be otherwise acquainted with. The following facilities were highlighted:

  1. The Energy Tecnology Center, Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. (5-11-61 Torishima, Konohana-ku, Osaka City)
  2. The Lightning Technology Center, Otowa Electric Co., Ltd. (5-6-20 Shioe, Amagasaki City, Hyogo Prefecture)

Guests commented on the impressive state-of-the-art technology, social contribution, and waste management efficiency of both companies.

The 25th Kansai Tour included representatives of the following countries: Netherlands, Panama, Vietnam, Indonesia, Mongolia, Philippines, Korea, China, Australia, Thailand, America, India, Canada, Israel and others.

スクリーンショット 2017-07-12 16.40.40スクリーンショット 2017-07-12 16.40.55