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2015 Japanese Speech Winners Awarded

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19th May 2015 H.E. Yukio Numata, Ambassador designated of Japan to the Kingdom of Tonga, in his first public engagement awarded the winners of the 6th Japanese Speech Contest on Thursday, 14th May, at St. Andrew’s School Hall.

Mr. Claude Tupou, Acting CEO for Ministry of Education and Training attended the Contest as the guest of honor.  Also present were Mr. Tevita Kalafitoni Latu, Principal of Tonga College, Mr. Paula Fonua, Principal of Tailulu College, Mr. Mo’unga Maka,

Principal of St. Andrew’s School and Ms. Sau’iloa Taufalele, Principal of Lavengamalie Christian College.

In the welcome address by H.E. Numata, he advocated bilingualism and multilingualism as one of the significant factors to understand and enjoy foreign cultures. “The opportunity to study the Japanese language in Tonga helps cultural exchanges of two countries and increases our societies’ potential not only to teach one another but also to learn from each other through language.”

“I am truly grateful for the leaders of education in Tonga for their persistent efforts to promote the education of the Japanese Language in secondary schools and tertiary institutes of Tonga,” said Ambassador Numata.

Mr. Claude Tupou, Acting CEO for the Ministry of Education and Training acknowledged the continuing generous support of the Government of Japan for Education. “Currently the Japanese language is taught up to Form 7, and Tonga has a National Japanese Syllabus written locally by a team of committed Japanese language teachers both Tongan and Japanese, and supported by the

Government of Japan through the Japan Foundation and JICA,” confirmed Mr. Tupou.

The winners of the contest were; Arden ‘O Halekulani Fatai, from Vava’u High School winning the Open Category. The winner of the Open Category will be nominated to participate in the Japanese Language Program, which is a two-week study trip to Japan fully funded by the Japan

Foundation. Linda Hiupeti from Tonga High School won the Form 7 Category; ‘Alisi Uhi from Tonga High School won the Form 6 Category; Paea Vaiangina from Tailulu College won the Form 5 Category, and Fonohema Solomone of Tonga College won the Form 4 Category. Sixteen contestants competed this year, seven of them travelled from the outer island, Vava’u. The contestants were judged by criteria of content, presentation, grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and intonation.

Japanese language was first taught in the Kingdom in 1986; to date there is a Japanese language lab, “Heilala-Sakura Japanese Language Center” administered by Tonga Institute of Education, TIOE and six colleges offering Japanese Language as an optional subject.

The 6th Japanese Speech contest was co-hosted by of the Embassy of Japan and the Ministry of Education and Training, collaborated by JICA Tonga Office and the Japanese Language Teachers’ Association of Tonga.  St. Andrew’s School has also collaborated in providing the venue for the last two years. The Embassy of Japan had also continuous support from the judges, Dr. Raelyn Lolohea ‘Esau, Deputy Director of Staff Performance Appraisal for Ministry of Education and Training and Mr. Tevita Kilisimasi Ha’apai, the President of Tonga-Japan Alumni Association.



Form 4 Category

1 st Fonohema Solomone  (M ) Tonga College

2nd Lu’isa ‘Oto’ota  (F) Tailulu College – Vava’u

3 rd Maryanne Schaaf  (F) Tonga High School


Form 5 Category

1 st Paea Vaiangina (F) Tailulu College – Vava’u

2nd Matalupe Mailangi  (F) Vava’u High School

3 rd Fonohema ‘Amaka (M) Tonga College


Form 6 Category

1st ‘Alisi Uhi  (F) Tonga High School

2nd Filipo Manumu’a (M) Tonga College

3rd Melenaite Hopoi (F) Vava’u High School


Form 7 Category

1st Linda Hiupeti (F) Tonga High School

2nd Lea’aetoa Fatai (F) Vava’u High School


Open Category (18th years and older)

1st Arden ‘O Halekulani Fatai (F) Vava’u High School

2nd Francine Genevive Helu  (F) Tonga International Academy

3rd Sione ‘Amanaki Veituna  (M) Lavengamalie Christian College



Issued by: Embassy of Japan in Tonga. For further enquiries please contact: Mr. Takeshi Igarashi, Administration Officer, Embassy of Japan in TOnga. Level 5, National Reserve Bank of Tonga Building / Telephone: 22-221 / Fax 27-025


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