New Year's Reception, Appointment of "Japanese Cuisine Goodwill Ambassador" and Consul-General's Award Ceremony

  On January 19, Consul-General Watabe held a New Year's Reception, an appointment ceremony for “Japanese Cuisine Goodwill Ambassador”, and an award ceremony to present the Consul-General's Award.

  During his opening remarks, the Consul-General expressed his hope for the victims of the Noto Earthquake to recover as soon as possible, and while looking back on the past year, he prayed for further development of Japan-Canada relations and good health for all this coming year.

  Moreover, Mr. David Okumiya, owner of Mikado Sushi & Robata, was appointed as a Japanese Cuisine Goodwill Ambassador by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in 2022, and the Consul General presented him with his letter of appointment. In addition, the Consul-General's Award was presented to Mr. Peter Kinjo and Mr. Sam Mitsugi in recognition of their many years of accomplishments.
  *Mr. Mitsugi was unable to attend the reception, so he was presented with his commendation on January 23rd.

Mr. David Okumiya

Mr. Okumiya, was born in Shizuoka Prefecture in 1955, moved to Edmonton in 1980 and worked as a chef at Mikado Restaurant, Alberta's oldest Japanese restaurant, for 14 years. When the local economy entered a recession in the 1990s and the restaurant's previous owner was considering closing the business, David was concerned that the Japanese food culture in the area would disappear, so he bought the restaurant and took it over as “Mikado Sushi & Robata”. He has been in the restaurant business for more than 40 years and has become a pioneer as an authentic Japanese chef and manager in the region. Many Canadians and immigrants have trained under David and passed on not only his techniques, but also the culture and spirit of Japan.

Mr. Peter Kinjo

Owner of Kinjo Sushi & Grill. He was born in Okinawa in 1952 and came to Canada in 1971 (at the age of 19) as a third-generation agricultural trainee for the Overseas Immigrants Association, the predecessor of the Japan International Cooperation Agency. After working in various food service industries, he established Kinjo Sushi & Grill. Kinjo Sushi & Grill has seven restaurants in Calgary, with the largest locations seating hundreds of customers, and will soon open an eighth location in Edmonton. The business is expanding quickly thanks to its unique management philosophy and various innovations, and in addition to providing inexpensive and delicious Japanese food to the locals, it also takes into consideration the many immigrants in Calgary and offers an excellent breakfast menu for very low price. He has not only promoted the spread of Japanese food in Calgary, but also made a significant impact on the civil society.

Mr. Sam Mitsugi

He was born in 1937 in Ibaraki Prefecture, and immigrated to Canada in 1960, where he worked as the President of Canon Canada in Calgary for many years. The year before the Calgary Winter Olympics, in 1987, Canon Canada became a sponsor of the games, and he began supporting the Japanese athletes who competed. He continued to support Japanese athletes even after the Calgary Olympics and used his own money after his retirement from Canon Canada in 2002. He has contributed significantly to the sports exchange between Canada and Japan for many years.

Consul-General Watabe delivering remarks The toast
Mr. David Okumiya recieving the letter of appointment, "Japanese Cuisine Goodwill Ambassador"
Mr. Peter Kinjyo receiving
the Consul-General's Award
Mr. Sam Mitsugi receiving
the Consul-General's Award