Interviewed by Isao Tokuhashi
Mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
This interview series celebrates each national day in the world through an interview.
The third episode is brought to you from Madagascar, which celebrates the independence of the country from France on June 26. In commemoration of the day, we asked the Embassy of Madagascar for an interview and received answers from them.
Q1. Where is your embassy located in Tokyo?
The Madagascar Embassy is beautifully located at 2-3-23, Moto-azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo, near the Arisugawa Park and the Aiiku Clinic, just about 7mn from Hiroo Station. *MAP
Q2. What are the appealing things about Madagascar?
Madagascar is well known in Japan for the beauty and uniqueness of its nature and natural resources, but the most valuable experience to discover in Madagascar should be the openness and generosity of its people and the immense diversity of its culture.
Surprisingly, Madagascar people are as close to Asian as African and Arabic with its mixed origins through history. Madagascar has been always compared by Japanese as the “Old Japan” that preserves simple and original way of life. So Japanese will be surprised once visiting Madagascar because they will feel at home by meeting familiar faces, seeing recognizable scenery of rice planting field everywhere, eating familiar foods (rice and fish).
As the fourth biggest island in the world, Madagascar is a continent island that offers plenty of attractions ranging from beautiful white sandy beaches – famous for honeymoon for Japanese; hundred network of National Parks including UNESCO international heritage in the east forest of Madagascar; lots of cultural heritage sites preserving amazingly centuries of cultures such as the community of Zafimaniry (UNESCO site) in the south east of Madagascar.
Particularly for Japanese, it is a must when visiting Madagascar to see the most famous and gentle animals that are 100% endemic to Madagascar namely the LEMURIANS. Legendary identified as “King Julian” in the “Madagascar Movie” or the well-known “Aye-Aye” which is a small lemurian that is loudly sang by Japanese Children at early age at school with the same title as “Aye-Aye”. In the same vein of good experience, go visiting the upside down giant trees named BAOBAB is a unique privilege that Japanese would certainly renew and makes them want to come back again and again in this beautiful island of Madagascar.
Q3. Are you planning some events at the embassy?
Madagascar Embassy hosts and/or sponsors multiple events (cultural and economic) throughout the year.
At the Chancery of the Embassy of Madagascar in Tokyo, the small but dynamic team of the Embassy is welcoming number of school visit programs as a chance for Japanese kids to discover about Madagascar, its culture and history. The Embassy sometimes accepts also the invitation of schools or universities to give lecture on Madagascar.
The Embassy hosts periodically some events called “Madagascar Café”, “Tea with the Madagascar Embassy” or “Madagascar LunchTrip”…, informal meetings for exchanging with Japanese and friends of Madagascar about Madagascar experiences and issues.
Particularly this year, along the celebration of the Independence Day of Madagascar (26th June 2016), the Embassy is hosting cultural exhibitions during a week event called “Madagascar Week” from 17-26 June 2016, including activities such as Madagascar Painting Exhibitions called ‘Madagascar & Japan Friendship Art Exhibition” from June 17 to 20 at the Embassy and Madagascar Handicraft Fair and Exhibitions called “Made in Madagascar Expo/Sales” on June 22 and 23 at the Embassy, good occasions for Japanese to discover the beauty of our high quality handmade daily goods and some inspirational arts related to Madagascar’s culture and nature. The Embassy would like to conduct such event every year, so book your calendar and come to discover Madagascar at the Chancery of the Embassy on that period.
Outside the Chancery, Madagascar is co-organizing or participating in multiple events ranging from cultural one, trade and tourism or economic one, a chance to exhibit Madagascar Foods, Products, Tourism Destination and Industries. For instance, the Embassy is organizing every 2 years the “Madagascar Festival” during which the Embassy is inviting Malagasy Artists and Enterprises to showcase Madagascar typical cultures and products such as the Vanilla from Madagascar, Madagascar traditional dances and games, and so on. In addition, Madagascar is trying to participate every year to the International Food and Beverage Exhibition or “FOODEX JAPAN”, so you can visit this event to see and taste the latest exotic products from Madagascar.
The Embassy is also co-organizing with the local “Air Madagascar” (The National Airways Company based in Tokyo) some road shows events throughout Japan in order to showcase Madagascar destination and promote the use of the service of our National Airways which offers the shortest route from Japan to Madagascar via Bangkok (or Guangzhou) in just about 16 hours flight. In addition to that, Madagascar constantly participates every year to the JATA Tourism Expo Japan, so come there and visit the Madagascar booths for discovering updates on Madagascar tourism destinations package.
Furthermore, if you want to know more about Madagascar, you can join along the following events, because the Embassy usually participates every year in various festivals and fairs such as the “Africa Hibiya Festival”; “African Heritage Festival” held in Yokohama; “The Global Festa Japan” with Gaimusho in Tokyo; “The Minato Citizen’s Festival” in Tokyo; “The Azabu Exhibitions”, “Tachikawa Friendship Festival”, “Peace Boat Festival” in Yokohama. Thanks to the collaboration of its enthusiastic diaspora and all friends and lovers of Madagascar to collaborate with the Embassy for the success of the participation of Madagascar in these events.
For more information on events related to Madagascar, please visit the link of the Embassy’s website: http://madagascar-embassy.jp/_index.php/news/?lang=en
Q4. Do you have any message from you to our readers? If so, let us share it with them.
If you never heard about Madagascar, just pay attention because many TV and Radio programs in Japan are talking about Madagascar, its nature and its people. In addition, our official website could be visited for curiosity: http://www.madagascar-embassy.jp/
If you have heard about Madagascar but yet never get the chance to visit this beautiful Island, you will not regret to make the decision to book now your flight to Madagascar. You can picture yourself through this website on what is like to be in Madagascar: http://www.madagascar-tourisme.com/en
The Embassy is more than happy to welcome you and advise you for any business related to Madagascar. And with its legendary warm welcoming, the Malagasy Population will be certainly happy to share with you and make your stay in Madagascar a lovely and memorable experience.
Indeed the Madagascar Embassy and the Madagascar People in Japan are proud to celebrate with the Japanese People a Happy Independence Day, and with that we would like to end by saying:
“Long live to the friendship between Japan and Madagascar”.