On Saturday 2nd February, the Third Japanese Speech Contest for University Students final was held at Imperial College. The event, co-organised by BATJ and the Japan Foundation, saw finalists in two categories battle it out for some fantastic prizes.
In category 1, for students studying Japanese as a main degree subject, the six finalists were competing for the first prize of a return ticket to Japan, a Japan rail pass and 1000. Michael Downey, a 3rd year student from the University of Leeds, took the prize for his speech entitled 'The unique Japanese approach to showing consideration for others and its disappearance from modern society'. Second place went to Antoni Slodkowski, a 2nd year student at SOAS, who spoke on 'Living in a Japanese teahouse - cultural experience in Kyoto'. Antoni won a digital camera and 500.
The six category 2 finalists all study Japanese as an elective or optional course. The first prize of a notebook PC went to Handoo Seo, a 2nd year student at Imperial College, for his speech 'Life's magic'. In second place, Faizal Farokh asked 'Do video games have a bad influence on youths?' Faizal, a 4th year student at Imperial College, won a digital camera and 500.
The standard of all the speeches was very high, and all finalists took home goody bags from JP-Books and tea sets from the Japan Centre. There were also prizes for audience members who took part in a raffle, as well as enjoying a Japan Quiz, and a J-pop singalong.
Please click 'download attachment' below to read a summary of the winners' speeches.
The Japan Foundation would like to thank Baker & McKenzie LLP, The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Japan Airlines, the Japan Centre, JP-Books, Ricoh UK Ltd and Toshiba of Europe Ltd for their generous support.