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The 52nd International Speech Contest in Japanese

On June 11, the 52nd International Speech Contest in Japanese will be held on the campus of the J. F. Oberlin ("Obirin") University. The speech contest has been held annually since 1960 with its aim to provide a place where people from around the world are invited to make a presentation in Japanese and exchange each other's opinions about Japan as well as the global society.

Initially hosted by the International Education Center and held in Tokyo, the contest has been co-organized with the Japan Foundation and local cities around the country since the 39th contest in 1998. While this year's 52nd contest was slated to take place in Tsukuba City, Ibaraki, its possible cancellation was discussed after the East Japan Great Earthquake in March. Nevertheless, with the strong support from the public for the significance of having this event during this nation's difficult time, the contest is going to be held as scheduled at a new venue at the J. F. Oberlin University in Machida City, Tokyo.

For our earth to continue its prosperous growth in the wind of globalization, it is very important that we listen to each other's opinions in a productive way and further advance mutual understanding between different nationalities and cultures. The speech contest not only provides an opportunity for foreign people to speak out their own deep experience in Japanese society and culture in Japanese language but also gives the audience of the speeches new and refreshing views. Twelve contestants who have been selected from over 70 applicants through a review of recorded speeches and a first-round selection will be the finalists who present their diverse perspectives of Japan and the world. Come and enjoy the passionate speeches of people from around the world. Admission is free.

■ Date & Time: June 11 (Sat.), 2011 (from 1:00 PM)
■ Venue: Lecture Hall (2nd floor of Taiheikan Building), the J. F. Oberlin ("Obirin") University
■ Organizers: International Education Center, Japan Foundation