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Sunday, June 18, 2006

KANSAI: Who & What

Big semiannual antique fair coming up in Kyoto:
A major antique fair will take place June 30 to July 2 at Pulse Plaza in Fushimi Ward, Kyoto.

The Antique Grand Fair Kyoto, held three times a year, is the largest of its kind in western Japan. About 350 dealers from all over the country and overseas will display more than 1.5 million antiques.

The 35th fair will feature a wide variety of items including Royal Copenhagen porcelain pieces from Denmark, a collection of Asian fabrics from Nepal and American antiques from the West Coast.

Entrance is free. The fair is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To get there, take the subway or Kintetsu Line to Takeda Station, and then ride a free shuttle bus from the west exit to the venue or use a taxi.

For more information, call the organizer at (077) 522-2307 or visit its Web site (in Japanese) at www.gomoku-do.com/

English-language tour of historical Osaka:
A volunteer guide interpreter is organizing a one-day tour Wednesday for English-speaking foreigners to learn about historical Osaka.

Participants will take taxis to several museums, each holding an exhibition on the history of the city, the housing and life of its people, and ukiyo-e prints that flourished in Osaka. The group will then go to Sumiyoshi Shrine and Shitennoji Temple, two of the major places of worship for Osaka residents. There will also be a flea market at the temple.

Participants will meet guide Paul Satoh at 9 a.m. in the lobby of Hotel Granvia Osaka, in the JR Osaka Station building.

The cost of the tour will be about 8,000 yen, including transportation and admission to the various destinations.

The event is reserved for foreigners only.

For reservations and more information, fax Satoh at (072) 831-2797.

Slowing Asian birthrates subject of symposium:
An international symposium to discuss the issue of slowing birthrates in Asia will be held 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Aug. 4 at Awaji Yumebutai International Conference Center in Awaji, Hyogo Prefecture.

The event will be held as part of the 7th Asia Pacific Forum, Awaji Conference Japan, a series of symposiums and forums which began in 2000 with the goal of clarifying a vision for the Asia-Pacific region pertaining to symbiosis among the region's diverse cultures.

The theme this time is "Falling birthrates and aging society looming in Asia."

Andrew Mason, senior fellow at East-West Center in Hawaii, will give a lecture on the issue and its economic impact. A panel discussion will follow, featuring such specialists as Naohiro Ogawa, deputy director of Nihon University Population Research Institute, and Angelique Chan, an assistant professor in the sociology department of National University of Singapore.

The event will be conducted in Japanese and English, with simultaneous interpretation.

Those who wish to attend must send an application form to the organizer by July 14.

For an application form and more details, call the organizer at (078) 230-3090 or visit the Web site at www.awaji-conference.com (the form can be obtained on the site's Japanese version).

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