Other Contributions to Society and Cultural Activities
Our founder, Katsutaro Inabata, was active in the promotion of popular diplomacy, taking on the role of honorary consul not only for Cambodia as mentioned above, but also for Portugal, France, and Belgium. This tradition has continued to the present day, with our current Counselor Katsuo Inabata appointed as Osaka's honorary consul to Portugal. He is also President of the Osaka Japan-Portugal Association, whose activities have included opening a Portuguese language school, helping promote exchange between both countries at the civic level.
Overseas, for the twentieth anniversary of the founding of our Inabata Singapore office, we made a donation to the Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO), set up in 1996 with the backing of Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the eldest son of Senior Minister Lee Kwan Yu. Singapore was Inabata's first overseas base to be established after the Second World War, and we wished to show a small token of our gratitude to Singapore by supporting the government affiliated SCO.
The SCO is unique not just because it is one of Singapore's major orchestras, but because it uses traditional Chinese instruments when performing. The orchestra gave a wonderful live performance at a party to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of our Singapore office, to the great delight of our employees.
Also in the world of music, we are co-sponsors of the Saito Kinen Festival held every year in the city of Matsumoto in Nagano Prefecture. This festival is in remembrance of the well-known late Hideo Saito, one of the founders of Japan's renowned Toho Gakuen School of Music. Former pupils who are now world famous, such as Seiji Ozawa and Kazuoshi Akiyama, got together to set up the Saito Kinen Orchestra, and the festival is centered on performances by the orchestra and opera. As Japanese, we are proud of this regular event which showcases world class Japanese musicians and we will continue to give our support to this festival.