Manchester chosen as host city for prestigious Japan Week 2025 

  • Friday 24 May 2024

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An international cultural festival featuring hundreds of Japanese performers showcasing traditional Japanese culture is set to take over Manchester for a week next year after the city has been chosen to host Japan Week 2025, a prestigious annual event taking place in a different world city each year.

First held in Florence, Italy and subsequently held in major cities including Boston, Seville and Athens, next year's festival in Manchester promises to be extra special as 2025 marks the 50th anniversary of the event.
The annual festival - which showcases Japanese culture through arts, music, fashion and sports - is organised by the International Friendship Foundation and will see free events take place in Manchester in early September 2025 at venues right across the city.
Manchester and the city region has a longstanding relationship with Japan, dating back to the 1800s and the industrial revolution. Japan Week 2025 will showcase this 200-year history and friendship.
Mr. Hiroyuki Ishizaki of the International Friendship Federation said: “It is a great pleasure to host our 50th Japan Week in the historic and beautiful city of Manchester. We look forward to bringing our artists and performers to this wonderful city next September."
The city’s bid to host Japan Week followed a successful Greater Manchester mission to Osaka and Tokyo in December 2023, led by GMCA Mayor Andy Burnham and Leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Bev Craig, and supported by Marketing Manchester.
Councillor Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Manchester is a diverse and welcoming city enriched by our international communities. We're proud of our historic connections with Japan and look forward to continuing to develop new and renewed partnerships. Culture is a great way to foster mutual understanding between cities and countries, and we know that large cultural events bring benefits such as jobs and volunteering opportunities to the city for our residents and communities. I look forward to welcoming the Japanese visitors to Manchester next September.”
The mission focused on celebrating and strengthening partnerships across business to support net zero and innovation, culture and sport.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “This is fantastic news for Manchester, and the latest chapter in a partnership between our city-region and Japan that dates back centuries. We’re bound by ties of innovation, industry and culture that stretch across the globe, and that’s why Greater Manchester led a UK-first mission to Japan last year to strengthen those connections and open up new opportunities for our people and places. We’re excited to see what the 50th Japan Week will bring and look forward to welcoming all of the performers and artists to Manchester in 2025.”
The Greater Manchester delegation to Japan also included leaders from across the business, education, culture and sport sectors and was supported by the Honorary Consul to Japan, Jo Ahmed.
Jo Ahmed, Deloitte Partner and Honorary Consul of Japan in Greater Manchester, said: “As Honorary Consul of Japan and Chair of the Manchester Japan Steering group, it is fantastic to see the strength of partnership that has developed between Greater Manchester and Japan across a number of areas including business and innovation links as well as through culture and sport. I am so pleased that Manchester will be hosting the 50th Japan Week and look forward to seeing the benefits it brings to Manchester.”
Final dates, venues, and the full programme for Japan Week 2025 will be announced in the coming months.
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