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The Seventh Japanese Speech Contest for University Students Finals Day

On 25th February, the finals of the Seventh Japanese Speech Contest for University Students were held in the Brunei Gallery of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), showcasing ten individual speeches along with four group presentations by UK university students.

The day began with the Category 2 finalists, all of whom are studying Japanese as an elective or optional course. The speeches were all of a very high standard and it was very difficult for the judges to decide the winner. However, the first prize eventually went to Yee Man Wong, a first year student from the University of Kent, for her extremely memorable speech on “The secret of the AKB48 Fever in Japan and overseas.” In second place was Yilin Wang, a 3rd year at the University of Hull, who spoke on the complex subject of “Problems faced by foreign tourists using Japanese communication technology.”

Category 2 was followed by speeches by  the Category 1 finalists, who are studying Japanese as their main degree subject. All five finalists demonstrated not only exceptional Japanese ability, but also a great degree of insight and knowledge of their chosen subjects. After much deliberation, first prize was awarded to George Walker, a 4th year student at the University of Leeds, for his enlightening speech on “Job-hunting in Japan – Effects on studies and student life.”  The second prize was awarded to Haider Muttaqi, in his 4th year at SOAS, for his passionate and informative speech entitled “Why should the Japanese government promote adoption?

This year’s Group Category gave beginner-level students the chance to give presentations on a topic of their choice. The four outstanding groups that made it through to Saturday’s finals were chosen from an initial 22 applications, and represented SOAS, Imperial College London, King’s College London and the University of Warwick. They gave talks on “English Culture,” “Chinese New Year,” “English Literature” and “Coventry Cathedral.” These groups were not placed individually, but instead received special prizes based on their chosen topics.

We would like to thank all participants, their teachers and supporters, the judges, audience members and BATJ for making the contest such a success. In addition, special thanks must go to the generous sponsors: Baker & McKenzie LLP, Central Japan Railway Company, Eikoku News Digest, Gendai Travel Limited, The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Japan Airlines, Japan Centre, JP-Books (JPT Europe Ltd.), Mitsubishi Electric Europe, Ricoh UK Ltd, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), and Toshiba of Europe Ltd.

We would like to encourage as many undergraduate students of Japanese language as possible to apply for next year’s contest, which will be held at Regent’s College London.

If you are a secondary school teacher or student, you may be interested in the 2012 Nihongo Cup Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary Schools.

Click on the attachment below for the full results.

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