It was, “Happy 84rd birthday, Emperor Akihito” as the Japanese Embassy hosted a celebration to at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel on Friday night.
The Japanese Ambassador, Maugaoleatuolo Shinya Aioki explained that his was the first time he had hosted this event because the Embassy of Japan in Samoa had now separated from the Embassy of Japan in New Zealand and has opened independently in January this year.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi paid tribute to the Japanese government and poeople, “I would like to thank the Ambassador Mauaoleatuolo for the invitation to commemorate Japan’s National Day and to celebrate the birthday of His Majesty, the Emperor of Japan.”
“Since the establishment of the formal ties in 1973, those 44 years ago, Japan and Samoa have developed a strong friendship over the years. Samoa has benefited significantly through development co-operations programs in the range of many key sectors but mainly in the transport and infrastructure, health, education sectors, he said.”
“I would also to acknowledge Japan’s International grassroots human security programmes.”
The occasion was celebrated in traditional Japanese fashion with great food and lots of sake, a traditional Japanese drink made from fermented rice.
Everything from the decorations that were fuchsia teuila and hand-made origami swans, to the exquisite cuisine which consisted of fresh sashimi and hand rolled sushi, strongly reflected the combination of both cultures.
Tuimaugaoalii Kazumasa Shibuta greeted every guest personally at the door alongside his stunning wife who was dressed in a beautiful, silk, kimono.
In attendance were fellow ambassadors, cabinet ministers and special guests.
Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoiwas was called on stage alongside His Excellency to crack open the barrel.
After the opening and when everyone was served, the entire room raised their glasses for a special toast in honour of the Emperor.