Author Archives: Kansai Consular Corps Admin

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

(Guest Post 日本語) “Osaka City Central Public Hall: Past and Present” by Author and Local Historian, Mr. Jun-ya Nakano

The image is iconic – a gorgeous, red brick building constructed in the Neo-Renaissance architectural style, picturesquely sitting along the river near Osaka City Hall. In English, it is called “Osaka City Central Public Hall.” Yet, few know the history of this 100+ year old building, or about the many world-famous personalities that have performed and lectured here (including Einstein and Helen Keller). An excerpt from the facility’s website tells us:

“The public hall was made with a large grant from an Osaka citizen, Mr. Einosuke Iwamoto who was a broker in Kitahama, Osaka. His donation was 1 million yen equivalent to billions yen in current monetary value. Einosuke had an opportunity to visit the United States as a member of businessman group and there he was impressed by the fact that American businessmen pay their own money to contribute to make great public halls like Carnegie Hall. Then he decided to construct one in Osaka which should be as beautiful as any hall in the world. The hall construction started in 1913 and was completed in 1918. Although it was rare at that time, they had a competition between nominated architects. Through its long history, the hall has been always deeply involved in cultural and art activity of Osaka people. Many international stars had various concerts like opera and also many famous people had lectures there. The role of the hall was changing with the times, however it always contributed to Osaka citizens’ cultural activity.”

Below is an original article about the history of this culturally significant building, written specifically for the members of the Kansai Consular Corps and our readers, by author and local historian Mr. Jun-ya Nakano. The article features an interview with the current Director of the facility, Mr. Nakai.

*Website contributions and guest postings by Kansai Consular Corps members and related organizations are welcome. Articles may be written in English, Japanese, or in bilingual format. Subject matter must be relevant to the KCC and its mission and will be subject to approval by the Executive Committee. Please contact the Executive Secretariat at for further information.



■ 公会堂としてはどのように岩本栄之助のことを伝えようとされておられるのでしょうか?



■ この建物の中で岩本栄之助の精神をもっとも強く感じる場所はどこになるのでしょうか。




■ その理想へと向かう上で、越えなければいけない「壁」というのはあるのでしょうか。




■ 市民に広くという思いと、建物の品位を守るという思い。時には相反することもあると思うのですが、そういった点についてはどのようにお考えでしょうか。





(Invitation – Public) Japan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Kishida, to deliver keynote lecture (23 July 2017 Symposium at Kobe University)

<<Notice from the Executive Secretariat>>

I received a visit yesterday from the Director of the Minister’s Secretariat (@Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tokyo) regarding a Symposium that will take place on 23 July (Sunday) 2017 at Kobe University from 13:30. Mr. Kishida, the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs, will be the keynote speaker for this event.

The Symposium is free and open to the general public. KCC members, friends, family and other colleagues are warmly invited to attend. Details and an application form can be found at the MOFA link below. Please note that the lecture and discussion will take place in Japanese without English translation (*however, there will be no need to speak publicly, so those who can listen and understand a reasonable amount of Japanese should feel comfortable attending).


Hope to see you there.


News and Updates, May-June 2017

It has certainly been a busy past few weeks for the Kansai Consular Corps and our colleagues in local government throughout the region. Indeed, the various prefectures of Kansai were a flurry of activity for the entire months of May and June as KCC Consulates and Honorary Consulates hosted several large-scale festivals and celebrations of national holidays, all of which contribute greatly to the vitality and richness of the cultural offerings for the people of Kansai.

How much , you may wonder? One noteworthy example is the annual Thai Culture Festival in Osaka, organized by the Royal Thai Consulate. It is reported that over 180,000 local Japanese residents participated in this recent two-day event. Featuring sports, dance, music performances, as well as booths showcasing Thai regional cuisine, this event has achieved much to promote exchange between Thailand and Kansai. Another example of meaningful person-to-person cultural exchange is the recent International Yoga Day event held in Kyoto with the support of the Consulate General of India Osaka-Kobe, in which a crowd of more than 1,300 people assembled to practice yoga underneath the sunshine and a beautiful torii gate before Heian Shrine.

It isn’t possible to present all of the recent activities, but here are some highlights below. Daily updates from the Kansai Consular Corps appear on the KCC Twitter Account. Our handle is: @kansaiconsuls

Indonesian Jewelry Exhibition (Consulate General of Indonesia)

(Details at the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website: ) 18556684_10155282625186407_514308236962631171_o

Thai Festival 2017 at Osaka Castle (Royal Thai Consulate General)

(Link to the Consulate with more details:

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International Yoga Day (Consulate General of India)

(For more details, please see and future activities at



National Holiday Reception (Consulate General of Russia)

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Philippines National Holiday Reception (Consulate General of Philippines)

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150th Anniversary Celebration of Canada (Honorary Consulate General of Canada)

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Independence Day Celebration of USA (Consulate General of the US in Osaka-Kobe)

(Official photos at the Consulate’s facebook page:

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Kansai Consular Corps Members Deepen Understanding of Traditional Japanese Products During the Nihonshu Economic Seminar and Tasting

Members of the Kansai Consular Corps and their guests assembled at Nihonzakari, a “shinisei” Sake Brewery in Nihshinomiya City, Hyogo Prefecture.

The event was sponsored by the Sake and Shochu Brewers Association and Osaka Regional Tax Bureau. The program was as follows:

Nihonshu Seminar: Economics and Fundamental Knowledge of Nihonshu with 3 Highlights:

  1. Taxation in Japan in general and for liquor in particular
  2. Marketing and promotion of “Nihonshu” globally
  3. Tour of production facility of Nihonsakari Co. Ltd.

During his remarks, KCC Vice-Dean thanked the participating organizations for their efforts and contribution to make this event possible and Morimoto-san, President of Nihonzakari, for hosting the event, stating: “Through this seminar and factory tour, members of the Kansai Consular Corps could learn about the rich history and the significance of Nihonshu not only as a beverage but as an important part of the Japanese culture and history.”


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The 24th Tour of the Kansai Consular Forum (25 May 2016)

The 24th Tour of the Kansai Consular Forum was held on 25 May 2017. Members of the Kansai Consular Corps and other leaders from industry and local Chambers of Commerce gathered at Hyogo Works, Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. for a tour of the facilities and to see first-hand an example of Japan’s cutting-edge train technology.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry Kansai states that the “Kansai Consular Forum holds tours to introduce world-class research institutes, corporations, cultural facilities, urban infrastructure, etc. in the Kansai area to the consulate generals and overseas economic organizations based in the Kansai area.”


Hyogo Works Kawasaki Heavy Industries Group Photo