Bon Odori festival celebrates ‘friendship’ between Malaysia and Japan, says Ambassador Takahashi

File photo of His Excellency Ambassador Takahashi, Ambassador of Japan, delivering his official speech at the Grand Opening Ceremony of the Bukit Jalil Tsutaya Books, Bukit Jalil Pavilion. July 07, 2022 – Photo by Devan Manuel

Saturday, July 16, 2022 9:55 PM MYT

SHAH ALAM, July 16 – The annual Bon Odori festival which has been held for nearly half a century in this country is an effort to promote and strengthen friendship between Malaysia and Japan, according to the Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia .

Katsuhiko Takahashi said the 46th Bon Odori Festival held today is a testament to the cordial bilateral relations between the two countries.

“Japan highly values ​​Malaysia’s cultural diversity and tolerance. Diversity and tolerance have been a driving force in promoting bilateral relations in all aspects, including this Bon Odori festival.

“This year marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and Japan as well as the 40th anniversary of the Malaysian Look East policy. The Bon Odori Organizing Committee hopes the occasion will be another opportunity to bond the people of Japan and Malaysia,” he said at the press conference for the 46th Bon Odori Festival here.

Takahashi said about 1,500 Japanese companies have invested in Malaysia, creating jobs and contributing to the states’ and nation’s economy.

Meanwhile, chairman of the organizing committee for the 2022 Bon Odori festival in Kuala Lumpur, Dai Hoshiai, said about 35,000 visitors attended the festival, which kicked off around 7 p.m.

He said the festival had not taken place for the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The festival is a cultural event featuring Japanese folk dance, and it is held annually as a summer event in every district of Japan’s cities, he added.

“It’s just a cultural event. Of course we open (Bon Odori) to everyone,” he said.

— Bernama