Guests arrived early to the 11th annual Kokusai Shinenkai to admire restaurant Gold’s commanding view overlooking the Fukuoka Castle ruins at Maizuru park as evening set in.
Guests streamed into the room to the strumming of local guitar artist and composer, Takeshi Sakasegawa who charmed the audience with his youth, original songs and special techniques. The evening quickly continued as guest speaker Ziv Magen, general manager of Nippon Trading International took the floor. Magen quieted the murmuring crowd converting them into a very attentive audience. Mr. Magen described positive and hopeful indicators evidencing the recovery of the Japanese economy. He described his work of servicing international investors who are interested in taking advantage of Japan’s current real estate boom. Many expressed surprise, as Magen described the Fukuoka market as one of Japans most vibrant! Speaking slowly and concise Mr. Magen made his closing comments and ceded the mic to Mr. Akihiko Fujita for the traditional Kampai. Fujita-san, a member of the Srum kai business group and sales manager for Advance staff training and communication corporation stood confidently at center stage and introduced himself in clear English then he lead the crowd in “Cheers! “Kampai!”
The New Year had surely arrived for this annual gathering with all its excitement, well wishes and renewed hopes for the future.
The sound of glasses clinking gave way to clinking forks as the Gold staff timely opened the buffet. Though many first time attendees were present, familiar faces and long time friends circulated the room anxiously. Guests included officials from Fukuoka City, a delegation from local business group Scrum Kai and a crew from Kyushu’s first IKEA store was also on hand. Former Fukuoka, Japan-America Society Secretary General, Mr. Murahashi attended the event at a private capacity for the first time.
As the clock struck half past eight, the MC expressed sincere appreciation on behalf of the FEPC, to supporters and guests of the Kokusai Shinnenkai. Luis Matos took the stage to say words of appreciation to longtime supporters and friends.
The crowd left Gold restaurant and lounge slowly as the music slowed and lights ushered everyone towards the doors.