Celebrating the Japan Creative Centre’s 10th Anniversary
Speech by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, at the Japan Creative Centre’s 10th Anniversary, at Drama Centre Theatre
22 October 2019
H.E. Jun Yamazaki, Ambassador of Japan to Singapore,
Ladies and Gentlemen
- Good evening. It is my pleasure to join you at the 10th anniversary celebration of the Japan Creative Centre (JCC).
- I would like to take this opportunity to express my warm congratulations to the people of Japan on the new Reiwa era, as well as the Enthronement of Emperor Naruhito, which took place earlier today. I am confident that Japan will continue to enjoy lasting peace, prosperity and stability in the new era.
A close bilateral partnership
- Singapore and Japan enjoy a warm, long-standing and multi-faceted bilateral relationship. We are like-minded partners in economic cooperation, exemplified by our commitment to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. It signals our shared belief in trade liberalisation, and a rules-based trading system, that will yield better outcomes for our peoples. We also share common interests on many regional and international issues, and collaborate closely under the Japan-Singapore Partnership Programme for the 21st Century. This Partnership Programme is Singapore’s largest and most successful joint training programme with another country.
- Our people-to-people exchanges are a foundation on which this close bilateral partnership is built. We have active cultural collaborations, with many Singapore artists performing in Japan and vice-versa. For example, some of the highlights of this year’s Singapore International Festival of the Arts were performances by noted Japanese artists in theatre and music. The Japanese Association in Singapore was the first foreign organisation to participate in our annual Chingay parade in 1987; and has been a regular participant since then. This has brought Japanese culture to a wide spectrum of Singaporeans, with the Japanese Association winning the best contingent display at this year’s Chingay parade for their performance titled, “The Spirit and Vitality of Edo Spring”.
- Our youth also have many opportunities to engage with their peers from Japan, as well as ASEAN. These take place through initiatives like the Ship for Southeast Asian and Japanese Youth Programme, as well as the Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths. Such platforms foster the mutual understanding and friendships that will continue to underpin our bilateral ties.
JCC adds to Singapore’s vibrant cultural landscape
- Since its establishment in 2009, the JCC has played an important role in strengthening these cultural and people-to-people links between Singapore and Japan. It works closely with Singapore’s cultural institutions and agencies to execute a strong calendar of events that have brought a flavour of Japan to Singapore and Singaporeans, and added to the vibrancy of our cultural landscape. For example, many of us look forward to the annual Japanese Film Festival, as well as special events like the JCC’s 2018 collaboration with the Singapore Philatelic Museum. Through this collaboration, we organised a talk on Japanese manga and anime during the Museum’s Anime X Stamps exhibition, which featured over 900 stamps from Japan and Singapore. That same year, the JCC celebrated one of Singapore’s foremost artists – Cultural Medallion recipient Dr Iskandar Jalil – through an exhibition of over 65 of his ceramic works held in conjunction with the 33rd ASEAN Summit and the 45th Anniversary Japan ASEAN Friendship and Cooperation.
- I am delighted that tonight, the JCC will be staging the first-ever Bunraku performance in Singapore with the support of the National Arts Council- Arts Education Programme (NAC-AEP). Bunraku is a traditional puppet performance where three puppeteers, a story-teller and a shamisen player coordinate seamlessly to tell a story through a half-life-size puppet. Bunraku is inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Through the NAC-AEP, we will work with the JCC and bring this piece of Japan’s cultural heritage to our schools and students. This will provide them with a unique opportunity to learn not only about a different culture, but also how the arts and heritage can help to inspire individuals and connect communities.
- In conclusion, I would like to express my congratulations to the JCC for its 10th anniversary, and wish it many more good years ahead. Thank you.
Last updated on 29 October 2019