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Sunday, Sept. 9, 2007

KANSAI: Who & What

Contestants sought for speech contest in Kobe

The Kobe Cross Cultural Center is seeking competitors for its annual speech contest in English and Japanese to be held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 18 at the Maritime Museum Hall in Kobe's Chuo Ward.

This year's theme is "To Revitalize Human Life — What Should We Do in Order to Build a Sustainable Society?"

Applicants can be of any nationality, but must be over 16 years old. 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. 18. 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. 20.

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

Mexican fiesta planned at Umeda Sky Building

Fiesta Mexicana Osaka 2007, an event designed to introduce the culture of Mexico, will be held at Shin Umeda City Wonder Square in Osaka's Kita Ward on Sept. 15 and 16 from noon to 9 p.m., and on Sept. 17 from noon to 8 p.m.

Mexican dance and music will be performed by Mariachi Agave, which focuses on traditional music, and Estudiantina La Salle, a group of student street performers. Dance lessons and pinata are also planned to be offered.

Mexican ceramics, artifacts, and traditional costumes, such as sombreros, will be sold along with fabrics and fruit. Mexican food will be on offer at Takimi-koji, the underground food court on the first floor of the basement.

The venue is at Umeda Sky Building and admission is free. The building is a nine-minute walk north from JR Osaka Station, Umeda subway station or Umeda Station on the Hankyu Line.

For more information, contact the organizer at (06) 6440-3901.

Seniors to get half-price discount at aquarium

Kaiyukan aquarium in Minato Ward, Osaka, will be offering a senior citizen discount to those more than 65 years old from Sept. 15 to Sept. 30.

The discount is being given to commemorate Keirou no Hi, a national holiday for senior citizens that falls on Sept. 17 this year.

Those older than 65 will be able to enter the aquarium for ¥1,000, or half the usual price, during the two week period.

To receive the discount, print out Discount Coupon for the Senior Citizens from the aquarium's Japanese Web site at www.kaiyukan.com/coupon.htm and bring it to the aquarium with a driver's license, insurance card or other official ID card that states one's age.

For more information, contact the organizer at (06) 6576-5501 between 9:30 a.m. and 8 p.m.

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