The Embassy of Japan in the Sultanate of Oman, in association with the College of Arts & Social Sciences at Sultan Qaboos University organized Japan Day on 5 November 2018 at the College with a number of activities. H.E. Toshinori Kobayashi, the Ambassador of Japan to the Sultanate of Oman was the chief guest on the occasion.
In his welcoming remarks, Dr. Mohamed Ali Al Balushi, Dean of the College of Arts & Social Sciences, said the first Japan Day celebration at SQU comes as part of the College’s efforts to strengthen the bonds of friendship with the countries contributing to the pool of languages that the College offers to SQU students. “The College, through its Department of Tourism offers six foreign languages: Japanese, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Chinese. The students from all colleges are keen to learn these courses. So far, the Department offered 12 sections of Japanese language course with the help of the Japanese Embassy and that benefitted 220 students”, the Dean said. Dr. Al Balushi observed that by studying the Japanese course, the students got exposure to Japanese culture too as aspired by the Embassy of Japan when the course was first introduced.
On his part, H.E. Toshinori Kobayashi said that Japan and Oman share many similar aspects; both countries flourished as maritime nations and in modern times enjoy international respect for peace and stability. “The warm hospitality freely offered by the Omani people reminds me of Japanese ‘Omotenashi’ meaning every service is from the bottom of the heart: honest, genuine and without concealment of pretense”, he said. The Ambassador hoped that the Japan Day at SQU would serve to deepen the students’ understanding of the Japanese culture and act as a catalyst for further development of the close friendship between Japan and Oman.
After the opening ceremony, the dignitaries took a tour of the mini Japanese exhibition set up at the College foyer. The exhibition displayed some Japanese dolls made for a seasonal festival as well as miniature models of UNESCO World Heritage sites in japan. Therafter, a Japanese tea ceremony ‘Chado’ was presented by Mr. Daisuke Takahashi along with students learning Japanese language at SQU. Following the tea ceremony presentation the Japan Karate Association presented a Karate performance. The Japanese film “Happy Flight”, a comedy movie focusing on aviation professionals, was screened at the lecture hall 6 of the College.
Earlier, H.E. Dr. Ali bin Saud Al Bimani, the Vice Chancellor of SQU received H.E. Toshinori Kobayashi at the University. During the meeting with the Vice Chancellor, the Ambassador contributed 58 books on Japanese culture, language and literature provided by Japan Foundation to SQU Library.