Fifteen outstanding students from various universities in Japan today (December 15) shared their perceptions of Hong Kong under four different themes at the finals of a speech contest organised by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Tokyo).
The themes were Hong Kong is ..., Green Hong Kong, Hong Kong Culture and Heritage and What I like most about Hong Kong.
The champions prize went to Miss Kana Kimura of the Soka University, who beat 188 Japanese university students participating in the first and final rounds of the contest.
With her speech entitled Helping Umbrella, Miss Kimura, who comes from the earthquake-hit Tohoku region, expressed her heartfelt gratitude for Hong Kong peoples support to Japan after the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan last year.
Her performance impressed the panel of judges, who considered her speech content moving and her delivery passionate.
The other three top winners were Miss Cho Yen Hyoung of the University of Tokyo, Miss Eri Fumoto and Miss Ayaka Shiode, both coming from the Keio University.
The four winners will visit Hong Kong and attend a 10-day exchange programme at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology early next year to see and feel for themselves the vibrancy, openness and unique attributes of Hong Kong.
The Principal Hong Kong Economic and Trade Representative (Tokyo), Ms Sally Wong, said, The purpose of the contest is to enhance understanding of Hong Kong among young people here and promote cultural ties, friendship and goodwill between Hong Kong and Japan.
Closer ties, better understanding and co-operation will help us overcome many difficulties together and bring about further positive development for all.
As a guest speaker, former Consul-General of Japan in Hong Kong Professor Masaki Orita, shared with the students and the audience of the contest his insights and personal experience in Hong Kong-Japan relations.
The 2012 Hong Kong Cup - All Japan University Students English Speech Contest was jointly organised with the Daily Yomiuri in Japan, and supported by Japans Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Prizes were partly sponsored by Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd, DCH (Japan) Holding Co Ltd and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
The panel of judges was led by Professor Timothy Wright of Otsuma Womens University. Other members were Ms Wong; the Regional Director of Japan, Hong Kong Tourism Board, Mr David Leung; and the Managing Editor of the Daily Yomiuri, Mr Yoshitoshi Sasaki.