Strengthening Ties through Japanese Autumn Harvest Festival

Crowds watching Cherry - a Japanese-humour live show aimed at children

Commemorating the 61st Anniversary of Japan-Malaysia diplomatic relationship with a gastronomic event

Iskandar Puteri recently played host to the Aki Matsuri Autumn Festival, the first in Malaysia, but one of the main festivals in Japan. It was originally celebrated as a harvest festival with ritual performances to give thanks for a good crop yield.

Crowds joining the free-admission festival were welcomed with unique Japanese dance and music performances and cuisine. Visitors saw traditional wardrobe and handmade ornaments and accessories available for purchase.

The event was collaboration between UEM Sunrise Berhad and Japan Graduates’ Association of Malaysia (JAGAM) Southern Branch to promote and strengthen cultural ties between Malaysia and Japan.

According to Hiroyuki Orikasa, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Japan, there are approximately 1000 Japanese nationals living and working in Johor Bahru. “We are happy to work together and enhance our bilateral relationship with the people in Johor. With Aki Matsuri, we want to work together, dance together, and laugh together.”

Embassy of Japan also hopes to revitalise the Look East Policy, an initiative by Tun Mahathir in 1981 to learn from Japan (and Korea) for Malaysia.

“We want to understand each other; establish confidence and trust each other,” added Hiroyuki.