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Sunday, Aug. 20, 2006

KANSAI: Who & What

Speech contests covers both English, Japanese:
The Kobe Cross Cultural Center is seeking competitors for its annual speech contest in English and Japanese, to be held 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 25 at Maritime Museum Hall in Chuo Ward, Kobe.

This year's theme is "Creating a 21st Century of 'Living and Sharing Together' -- How to Face Widening Gap."

Applicants can be of any nationality, but must be over 16. They will be expected to discuss the topic in both English and Japanese. Speeches can last up to five minutes in each language.

About 10 finalists will be selected to give oral presentations Nov. 25. The first-prize winner will receive a trophy from the mayor of Kobe, a round-trip ticket to Cairns, Australia, and a digital camera.

Those wishing to take part should request an application form from the center. The application, along with a tape and transcription of the speech, must arrive by Oct. 23.

For the application form and more information, call the organizer at (078) 646-7100.

Free consultations in Kyoto for non-Japanese:
Kyoto City International Foundation is hosting a consultation service for non-Japanese residents from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 17 at its facility in Sakyo Ward.

Specialists will offer advice on issues often faced by foreigners, including those pertaining to law, visas, taxes, social insurance, employment and mental health.

Interpreters will be on hand for speakers of English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish and Thai.

Participation is free, but reservations must be made in advance.

For reservations and details, call the organizer at (075) 752-3511.

Volunteers needed to read to children:
Volunteers are being sought for a book-reading program for children at International House, Osaka, in Tennoji Ward.

The international house has been running a program to read books to young kids in English and other languages. The goal is to provide children of all nationalities with a place to experience different languages and cultures through picture books from all over the world.

The organizers are looking for native English speakers who will read to children age 1 to 6.

The session in English is held on the second Tuesday and the third Thursday of each month, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., and the fourth Saturday of each month, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The hours include the time for children and parents to read books themselves, and readings by volunteers take place for about 30 minutes each session.

Those interested should contact the organizer and make an appointment for an interview.

For details, call the organizer at (06) 6773-8989 or e-mail johokikaku@ih-osaka.or.jp

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