[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Sunday, May 10, 2009

[President's Lunch for Singaporeans in Japan]
On the first day of his state visit to Japan, President hosted lunch for the Singapore community at a local hotel. Hundreds turned up, some from outside Tokyo. The mood was festive with everyone wanting to take pictures with President and Mrs Nathan. Not a few brought kids along too which was nice. Part of the incentive is the Singapore food served including Hainanese chicken rice, satay, laksa and mee goreng, all of high standard.

Many who came were Singapore students, some on government scholarships, some on Japanese Monbusho scholarships, some on their own. There were also Singaporeans who had married Japanese and lived in Japan many years. One had a son who was interested to teach breakdancing in Singapore. I asked him to email me. I was surprised to meet so many Singaporeans working in Japan for American and Japanese MNCs. Ambassador Tan Chin Tiong also invited Japanese friends of Singapore, a few of whom came from distant parts.

President Nathan is the first Singapore Head of State to visit Japan officially. As the Japanese Government only allows two state visits a year, this is a big deal, reflecting the excellent relations between our two countries. About three years ago, it was our honour to host the Japanese Emperor and Empress in Singapore. It was a most successful visit when their Imperial Majesties won over the hearts of many Singaporeans.

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