JNTO Event with the Prime Minister of Japan【安倍総理と観光訪日イベント!日英両語MC&インタビュー in NY】

Last week, I had the greatest honor to MC at the JNTO (Japan National Tourism Organization) “Visit Japan” Tourism Seminar in both English and Japanese, and over 200 media and VIPs attended from the states and Japan! Japanese Prime Minister Abe also attended despite his busy schedule, and he shared about all the alluring aspects of Japan and the “omotenashi” spirit in preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics!

先日、ニューヨークで行われたJNTO「観光訪日セミナー」の司会を日英両語で行わせて頂きました!

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Thumbnail image for j1.jpgThe special guest speakers were Olympic medalist Ms. Kasumi Ishikawa, Mr. Bobby Valentine, Mr. YOSHIKI from X JAPAN, and Olympic gold medalist Ms. Kaori Icho!

 

豪華なゲストスピーカーの皆さんは、卓球女子団体2大会連続のオリンピックメダルを獲得した石川佳純選手、正力松太郎賞も受賞された千葉ロッテマリーンズ 元監督のボビー・バレンタインさん、天皇陛下御即位10年奉祝曲「Anniversary」を作曲し2012年のGolden Globe Awardsのテーマソングを作曲されたX JAPANのYOSHIKIさん、そして国民栄誉賞を受賞し、世界初の個人種目4連覇を達成されたレスリングの伊調馨選手です!

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on stage after I invited him on stage!

安倍総理はイベントのスピーチで、で2020年のオリンピックに向けての
日本の魅力と国を挙げての「おもてなし態勢」を整えていることをアピールされました。

j3b.jpgThe gorgeous event venue, and me speaking on stage!

melodee morita YOSHIKI.pngFollowing Prime Minister Abe, the first person I had a one-on-one talk session with in English on stage was Mr. YOSHIKI from X JAPAN! He was the perfect guest, as he is a true legend representing Japan through his world-famous rock and classical music pieces as well as fashion. He composed and performed a piano concerto to commemorate the Japanese Emperor’s 10th anniversary of his reign and even created the theme song for the 69th Golden Globe Awards. At the event, he shared his creative passion and love for Japanese kimono through his “YOSHIKIMONO” collection including a screening of the show’s runway and performance.

ステージ上でYOSHIKIさんと英語でインタビューとトークセッションをさせて頂きました!ご自身でプロデュースされた「YOSHIKIMONO」を映像と共にご紹介いただき、日本が世界に誇る着物の素晴らしさをアピールされました!

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Mr. YOSHIKI and I having a blast talking and laughing on stage, photo by Mr. Yoshiaki Takahashi

 

After speaking with Mr. Bobby Valentine about Japanese hospitality and the cultural experiences he had during his travels across Japan, I had a panel discussion in Japanese with Olympic medalists Kaori Icho and Kasumi Ishikawa!

バレンタイン元監督は、監督時代日本中を周っていらしたご経験から日本と日本人の魅力をユーモアたっぷりにお話ししてくださいました。私が日本へ行った時に感じる日本人とアメリカ人との違いと優しさなども共感でき、とても楽しいインタビューをさせて頂きました。

 
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Interviewing and having a panel discussion/talk session with the Olympians!
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そして、伊調馨選手と石川佳純選手には日本語でそれぞれの故郷、青森県と山口県の魅力についてインタビューとパネルディスカッションをさせて頂きました!

Ms. Icho (Olympic gold medalist in wrestling) shared her stories and wonderful aspects of her hometown, Aomori, which is where she lived until age 15. Aomori is well-known for apples, but what I thought was really interesting was a snack called “senbei-jiru.” Apparently most people living in Japan have never heard of it either, so it’s a very “Aomori” thing! “Senbei” is a Japanese rice cracker that comes in various flavors, shapes, and sizes, and the “shiru” is like a soup. Ms. Icho shared that the senbei specifically made for senbei-jiru usually has a very light flavor, and you dip it into the shiru (often shoyu based) to enjoy! It sounded very yummy and I really hope to try it out one day in Aomori. :) She also share about her hometown’s famous matsuri, her favorite “power food” natto, as well as her love for onsen because she can open up and strengthen her friendship with foreign athletes in the relaxing environment. When I asked about her other favorite places in Japan, she mentioned that she trained in the mountains of Niigata (where there used to be no service or anything other than the training facility), and that is where the Japanese wrestling team grew a lot more powerful. She shared that what she loves about Japan and Japanese people the most is that they are extremely hardworking and have the drive to never give up on themselves. Speaking with her made me feel so motivated and gave me the energy to keep aiming higher!

 
青森県ご出身の伊調選手のおすすめは、りんごや魚はもちろん、青森独特の食べ物「せんべい汁」!
私も初めて聞いたのですが、せんべい汁用に薄めに味付けされたおせんべいを汁につけて食べるそうです。又、毎年行われている地元の有名なお祭りも大好きとお話しされていましたが、レスリングの試合と毎年重なり、ずっと参加できなかったことが残念で仕方がないとお話されました。そんなストーリーを語る伊調選手の笑顔からとても深い地元愛を感じました。Thumbnail image for j5.jpg

Ms. Ishikawa is around the same age as me, so she was also very wonderful to speak with! I could immediately feel the super sweet personality she and her mother had when I had a briefing with them prior to the event. Ms. Ishikawa is from Yamaguchi, and she spoke about the beautiful views the city offers including the Kintai(kyo)-bashi. If you ever visit Yamaguchi, be sure to check it outーshe really wants foreigners to go there because of its extremely unique shape that makes it challenging to walk across! When I asked what other activities she would like visitors to do in her hometown, she shared that creating your own ceramic through “hagiyaki” would be a very memorable experience. As for food, she shared that people in Yamaguchi say “fuku” for “fugu” (pufferfish) because they believe eating “fuku” brings lots of happiness and good fortune. Everyone in the venue could tell how much she cherishes her hometown through her big and adorable smile as she spoke!石川選手は山口県で得に外国人観光客に行って欲しいのが「錦帯橋」、経験して欲しいのは「萩焼」と語って下さいました!

又、地方独特のものをお聞きしたところ、山口ではフグのことを「フク」と呼ぶそうで食べると福がおとずれる縁起の良いものとして親しまれているそうです!

 

石川選手の可愛らしく真面目なお話の仕方に、私も山口県へ行ってみたくなりました。

X Japan YOSHIKI Melodee Morita.JPGI could keep writing on and on about all the stories they shared since it was a 3-hour long event, but I hope you enjoyed watching parts of it through the TV episode! I felt incredibly inspired speaking with some of the most talented and genuine people in this world, and I was so honored to have been a part of this event. Thank you so much for reading and visiting my blog! I will continue to post more lifestyle and beauty/diet related posts as well, so stay tuned!

3時間のイベントでしたのでまだまだ書きたい事、シェアしたい事はたくさんあるのですが、オンエアも是非チェックしてみて下さい。最後まで読んで下さってありがとうございました!

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