The 15th Japanese Speech Contest was held at the Lao-Japan Budo Center in Vientiane on 18 March to promote Japanese study in the Lao PDR and provide opportunity for local students to demonstrate their skills in speaking Japanese.
The event was organized by a committee comprising representatives from the Embassy of Japan and Japanese language institutes to attract students from several schools in the Lao PDR.
The Japanese Speech Contest has been held every year since 2004 to encourage more Lao students to learn Japanese, as well as to deepen mutual understanding between Lao and Japanese people.
This year’s contest drew 52 competitors for the reading section and 18 for speech section, selected by the organizing committee from more than 150 applicants.
They demonstrated their Japanese skills by reciting Japanese texts and delivering speeches that they had prepared themselves.
Furthermore, two guests presented special speeches. Singing and dancing performance were presented by students during the contest.
The event was attended by Vice Minister of Education and Sports Khamphay Sisavanh, former President of Lao-Japan Friendship Association Ponmek Dalaloy, and Ambassador of Japan to the Lao PDR Takeshi Hikihara.
In addition, government officials, teachers, students, and local residents, as well as family members and friends of those who participated in the contest, came to the event to cheer on the contestants.
Compared with last year, their Japanese skills are better this year. Their skills are improved this year so it was very difficult for referees to decide the winner. Last year, they had good speeches but failed questions. But this year, all of the contestants understood the questions, said Yoshida Tamami, First Secretary, Embassy of Japan in the Lao PDR, who was also chief referee of the speech contest 2018.
The Japanese speech contestants have shown better Japanese skills over the past years and it is likely that those participated in the one-minute speech category this year will apply for the three-minute category next year, said Ms Yoshida Tamami.
Source: Lao News Agency