Eager Lao students competed in the 12th Japanese Speech Contest to demonstrate their acquired Japanese language skills at the Lao-Japan Budo Centre in Vientiane last Saturday.
The contest, organised by the Embassy of Japan in cooperation with Japan language schools in Laos, is part of celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of Japan-Laos diplomatic relations and to further enhance friendship between the two countries.
This year the contest had 37 young competitors from schools in Vientiane, Savannakhet and Luang Prabang provinces who demonstrated their Japanese language skills by reciting texts and delivering speeches which they had prepared themselves.
Singing and dancing performances were also presented by students of Japanese language schools during the contest.
Winners of the contest will be going on a trip to Japan to experience its culture and customs.
The event was attended by the Director General of the Vientiane Ed ucation and Sports Department, Mr Xomphou Keopanya, the President of the Lao-Japan Friendship Association Mr Ponmek Dalaloy, a representative of the Japanese Embassy to Laos and other officials.
The event highlighted that many young people in Laos are interested in learning Japanese and that authorities of the two countries are keen to promote this trend.
A representative of the Japan Foundation, Ms Michiko Honda, reported that currently more than 800 Lao students had signed on to learn Japanese at institutes and schools nationwide.
In recent years, an increasing number of young people in Laos have shown growing interest in learning Japanese, and as a result the Japanese Speech Contest has been organised every year since 2004 to promote Japanese language studies locally as well as to deepen mutual understanding between the two peoples.
Many Japanese language schools and their students are keen to keep this event going as it's a perfect opportunity for the students to demonstra te the Japanese language skills they have acquired and to motivate themselves further.