The Embassy of Japan, the Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Center (CJCC) and the Department of Japanese language, Institute of Foreign Languages, Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP-IFL) hosted the 21st Japanese Speech Contest for Japanese language learners last week. This contest aims to further promote the understanding of Japanese culture and language amongst the Cambodian youth.
The 15 candidates were selected amongst 97 candidates that was divided into two groups. Students who have never travelled to Japan were placed in Group 1, while students who have already experienced Japan were put in Group 2. Five students competed in the final round.
H.E Horinouchi Hidehisa, Japanese ambassador to Cambodia, said that the bilateral economic relationship between Cambodia and Japan has seen to have increased in the past years. The presence of Japanese investors and nationals have also noticeably increased.
“Learning second language is very important to people. If you study the language of one country, it means that you will also be studying about its culture, society, traditions and lifestyle,” shared Mr Hidehisa.
He also mentioned that the ANA Airline has opened a direct Phnom Penh-Tokyo flight so people from the two countries can easily travel, conduct business or get education.
Chet Chealy, rector of RUPP, said that the competition plays an important role in encouraging and inspiring students to give focus on studying the Japanese language, especially because the country is celebrating 65 years of its relationship with Japan.
“Year by year, RUPP is working very hard to develop education because we know how important it is for people to know that Japan is a good market for business, education and tourism. With the Japanese businesses booming in Cambodia, it’s clear that Japan is contributing a lot to Cambodia,” Mr Chealy said.
Khim Leang, CJCC director, said that Japanese Speech Contest was established in1998 in Cambodia but it has spread to many other places as well.
“This competition aims to let Cambodian students show their ability in speaking the Japanese language. Through this, they will also be enhancing their knowledge. And even if some of the students lose the competition, there’s so much to take pride on having joined the contest,” Mr Leang explained.
Two winners emerged after the tough battle. Top Vanna, from group 1, won after an impressive speech on “What are we living for?” For Group 2, Ly Hokchhay brought home the trophy for the “Even if you lie to me, I still like you” speech. Two other winners were named for each group. But only Vanna will be given the chance to travel and experience the beauty of Japan.
The Japanese Speech Contest is a special competition held to gather students from various Japanese schools in Cambodia.