21 July, 2017. Their Royal Highnesses, Crown Prince Tupouto‘a ‘Ulukalala and Crown Princess Sinaitakala Tuku‘aho opened the travelling exhibition featuring Japan’s handcrafted form traditions and techniques on Thursday noon, 20th July 2017 at the Tanoa International Dateline Hotel.
H.E. Mr. Yukio Numata, Ambassador of Japan to Tonga welcome Their Royal Highnesses and honorable guests who attended the opening ceremony including Hon. Mateni Tapueluelu, Acting Minister for Tourism, Hon. Penisimani Fifita, Minister for Education and Training, Hon. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa, Minister for Commerce, Consumer, Trade, Innovation and Labour.
Present also at the ceremony were H.E Ms. Tania Tupou, Ambassador of Tonga to Japan, Ms Elena Procuta, Acting New Zealand High Commissioner to Tonga, Ms Nancy Gehron, Country Director/US Peace-Corps, International Agent Representatives, CEO’s and Senior Government Officials, Local Handicraft Organization Representatives, Non-Government Organization, Principals and Students of Japan exchange programs, Japan Alumni Executives, along with over 80 invited guests.
In the welcoming address by H.E Mr. Yukio Numata, he was honored with the presences of Their Royal Highnesses, to officially open another exhibition from Japan following last year’s photo exhibition “Japan’s coastline and its people”.
The exhibition of Japan’s handcrafted form, traditions and techniques showcases over 90 artwork objects in areas such as ceramics, textiles, metalwork, lacquerware, wood and bamboo crafts, glassware and paper works.
“Each object is a reminder of Japan as a place where innovation and traditional practice come together,” said the Ambassador. “Through this exhibition, I hope you will appreciate the multiplicity and richness of Japanese crafts.
I am happy that the increasing popularity of cultural exchanges between our people and nations, is a stepping stone to encouraging greater mutual understanding and cordial cooperation between all of us for not only today but tomorrow as well,” added H.E Mr. Numata.
Hon. Mateni Tapueluelu in his keynote address stated that such kind of initiative encourages Tongans to use efficiently and effectively resources available to develop local and cultural products, which is another avenue to reduce unemployment rate and heavy reliant on their families overseas.
“Todays’ exhibition is a milestone for both countries and it continues to bind the close collaboration and partnership between Government of Japan and Government of Tonga in ensuring the people at the community are engaging using local and natural resources to produce quality cultural products,” said Hon. Tapueluelu.
The Embassy of Japan in collaboration with the Japan Foundation hosted travelling exhibitions in the Kingdom to enhance knowledge of the people of Tonga into Japanese arts and culture, through arts.
The exhibition of Japan’s handcraft form traditions and techniques will be exhibited in Nuku’alofa until Thursday, 10 August 2017 before it travels to Fiji.