Manchester City Council


Tonight we celebrated Manchester’s important and increasing links with Japan, by welcoming the Japanese Ambassador His Excellency Yoshiji Nogami to our Town Hall.

The celebration follows the appointment last month of a Japanese Honorary Consul in Manchester, to mark and enhance the close relationship between our areas. The consul is already well-known to us - Peter Heginbotham, a well-respected figure in our region, current Chair of Manchester Enterprises (see 7th Feb's posting), a former President of the Chamber of Commerce and senior partner in one of the city's well-known law practices. Sorry Peter, no advertising here.

The reception included the spectacle of the ceremony of Kagami-Biraki, where the lid of a sake barrel is drummed and broken open with wooden mallets, and everyone shares the rice-wine. It created an atmospheric centrepiece to the evening but our Lord Mayor found it a bit overpowering, but he is of course very abstemious and not just during his year of office.

The importance of the evening though was to underline the excellent cultural and economic links with Japan - Japan is the biggest inward investor to the UK. We get significant investment from their blue chip companies, and the Japanese Centre at Manchester University provides a cultural and learning hub for both Japanese and Manchester residents.

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The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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