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COOL JAPAN Video Contest 2021 Award Ceremony Report

 On March 26th, the Award Ceremony for the COOL JAPAN Video Contest 2021 was held, and the 12 winning entries from the General and Local Government Divisions were announced. Among the winning entries were videos that showed off Japan’s stunning nature, as well as the rich history and culture of various locations within the country. These entries confidently expressed an enthusiasm to spread the charm of Japan throughout the world.
 As the world continues to adjust to the new normal COVID-19 has brought about, the pandemic’s effects could still be felt even at the award ceremony. Award recipients all participated through online attendance, and some of the judges recorded special video messages to be played on the projection screen. That’s not to say the event was entirely virtual, however, as Minister Kenji Wakamiya took the stage to offer his thoughts on the entries, as well as give a message out to all those who entered the contest.

The Award Ceremony Title Card

The Award Ceremony Title Card

The Award Ceremony kicked off with a video message from the head judge Tsuji Yoshiki. Before the presentation of awards, the 48 nominees chosen from a total of 414 entries were shown. Afterwards, a talk session allowed the judges to exhibit their knowledge and discuss amongst each other this year’s contest as well as COOL JAPAN’s future initiatives.

Nominated Works
Nominated Works
Nominated Works
Nominated Works
Nominated Works
Nominated Works

All nominations were projected on the stage’s main screen

The judges excitedly share their opinions on COOL JAPAN’s global transmission

The judges excitedly share their opinions on COOL JAPAN’s global transmission

In the talk session titled "The Future of the COOL JAPAN Platform," there was a lively exchange of opinions on the possibilities of food and food culture shown in the entries, as well as on overseas communities in the Web 3.0 era that are effective in communicating the ever-popular nature and culture of Japan. The seminar was also meaningful in that it defined the level of proactivity and independence it takes to enter a contest, but also in tackling the issue of how to discover quality content already abundant on the Internet, given its current freedom of expression and information exchange.

After the talk session, the award ceremony commenced. Audience members from all over the world waited to see this year’s honorable mentions, runners-up and first-prize winners. Before the announcements were made, each entry was displayed on the stage, after which the online-participating award recipients were asked for their thoughts and comments on receiving the award. First up were the honorable mentions.

General Division COOL JAPAN Honorable Mentions

●Feel Fukuoka Japan
●Pizzanosuke
●Tomato Red Motion

Local Government Division Honorable Mentions

●Shimokita TABI Asist
●Fukushima City Commerce & Tourism Promotion Office
●Mishima City Hall

Commemorative photo featuring the honorable mentions and the contest judges

Commemorative photo featuring the honorable mentions and the contest judges

Next was the announcement of each division’s runners-up, who also shared their comments via online attendance after their works were displayed on stage.

General Division COOL JAPAN Runners-up

●Machidukuri Obama kankokyoku Co., Ltd.
●Tablecross Inc

General Division Runner-up Machidukuri Obama kankokyoku Co., Ltd.’s Sabakaido, Harihatagoe Trail

General Division Runner-up Machidukuri Obama kankokyoku Co., Ltd.’s Sabakaido, Harihatagoe Trail

General Division Runner-up Tablecross Inc’s Sushi Making Class in Tokyo at a Michelin-Starred Restaurant

General Division Runner-up Tablecross Inc’s Sushi Making Class in Tokyo at a Michelin-Starred Restaurant

Local Government Division COOL JAPAN Runners-up

●Takahama Town
●Toba Tourism Association

Local Government Division Runner-up Takahama Town’s Reconnect with your ZEN

Local Government Division Runner-up Takahama Town’s Reconnect with your ZEN

Local Government Division Runner-up Toba Tourism Association’s TOBA IS YOUR OYSTER

Local Government Division Runner-up Toba Tourism Association’s TOBA IS YOUR OYSTER

At long last came the first-prize winners for each division. The General Division’s first-place winner was The Ritz Carlton Nikko for its submission Deep Nikko. The first-place video whimsically showcases Nikko, Japan’s beautiful nature, ancient history, and bountiful food all in one mesmerizing collection.
For the Local Government Division, Tochigi Prefecture’s Tourism and Cultural Exchange Department took home the first-place award with its Geo Gastronomy video. The video shows off Tochigi Prefecture’s charm from a gastronomy point of view, taking into consideration the relationship between food and culture. The video presents its contents in a way that can be used to showcase not only one part of Japan, but Japan as a whole.

General Division COOL JAPAN First Place Winner

●The Ritz Carlton Nikko

First Place Winner of the General Division, The Ritz Carlton Nikko, joined the ceremony online

First Place Winner of the General Division, The Ritz Carlton Nikko, joined the ceremony online

Local Government Division COOL JAPAN First Place Winner

●Tochigi Prefecture Tourism and Cultural Exchange Department

Tochigi Prefecture Tourism and Cultural Exchange Department also joined the ceremony online

Tochigi Prefecture Tourism and Cultural Exchange Department also joined the ceremony online

Commemorative Photo of the First Place Winners and Contest Judges

Commemorative Photo of the First Place Winners and Contest Judges

Once the award ceremony had concluded, Minister Wakamiya provided his thoughts on the contest and ceremony. In addition to praising the high quality of the entries and the ideas that went into creating them, he said that the government of Japan, in cooperation with the winners and the COOL JAPAN Ambassadors, would disseminate the excellent works selected this year to people all over Japan and overseas through diplomatic initiatives, thereby attracting new fans of Japan and further strengthening the country's soft power in international politics.

A closing speech was provided by Minister Wakamiya

A closing speech was provided by Minister Wakamiya

As the organizers of this event, we will continue to strive to showcase Japan’s unique charm while recognizing the power of those who entered the contest as the potential for communicating such charm to the world.

After the award ceremony concluded, a commemorative photo was taken featuring the award recipients, Minister Wakamiya, and the contest judges

After the award ceremony concluded, a commemorative photo was taken featuring the award recipients, Minister Wakamiya, and the contest judges

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