The 45th Japanese Speech Contest For Elementary School Students

The Japanese American Association of Northern California (Hokka Nichibei Kai), Northern California Japanese Teachers’ Association, and the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco will hold the 45th Japanese Speech Contest for elementary school students.

Please note the changes made in items 4 (Categories), 5 (Speech Length & Topics), and 6 (Criteria for Judgment) from this year.


Sunday, March 5th, 2017 (1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.)


Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC)
1840 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94115


In order to participate, students must meet the following eligibility criteria. Students should:
  1. Be currently attending a local elementary school.
  2. Have not lived in Japan for more than three consecutive months since the age of 3.
  3. Be studying Japanese as a foreign language at school for not more than 8 hours a week. (Elementary school students who study Japanese at home are also eligible to apply.)
  4. Former first place contest winners are not eligible to enter unless they are applying for a different grade group.


(1)Group A: 1st ~ 3rd grade

Category 1: Contestants who come from homes where Japanese is not spoken.
(10 contestants maximum)
(No one in the contestant's family understands Japanese)

Category 2: Contestants who come from homes where Japanese is spoken.
(10 contestants maximum)
(Someone in the contestant's family understands or is able to speak Japanese)

(2)Group B: 4th grade and above

Category 3: Contestants who come from homes where Japanese is not spoken.
(10 contestants maximum)
(No one in the contestant’s family understands Japanese)

Category 4: Contestants who come from homes where Japanese is spoken.
(10 contestants maximum)
(Someone in the contestant's family understands or is able to speak Japanese)


Contestants are free to choose the title and subject of their speeches.Speeches should be no longer than 2 minutes in length. Points will be deducted during final evaluation by judges if speech exceeds 2 minutes.


Content, pronunciation, and presentation.
(Contestants may use props [items or photographs] related to their speech topic. Use of electronic devices is not permitted. Props that hinder the flow of the contest are not allowed [e.g.,props that require excessive setup/clean-up before and after the speech]. Although contestants may use numerous props, please be aware that extraneous time devoted to preparing/showing props will be subject to penalization due to the 2 minute speech limit.)


All contestants will receive a certificate of participation (and prizes) and awardees (1st, 2nd, and 3rd place from each category) will receive a winner's certificate and trophy.


  • We will accept 1 student (and 2 alternates)per category from each school.
  • The Speech Contest Committee will only accept applications from schools (teachers), not from individual students. (Please contact us directlyif an interested contestant is included in specific circumstances like homeschooling, etc.)
  • Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until we have 10 contestants per category with a maximum total of 40 participating contestants. If there are fewer than 10 contestants for each category, the Speech Contest Committee will fill the spaces with students from the waiting list. Selection of alternates from the waiting list will be based upon the total number of Japanese language students per school.

Note: We appreciate teachers and participating contestants for their daily efforts in improving their Japanese language abilities.We are truly impressed by the high caliber performances we have seen at our speech contests over the years. However, we are concerned that in recent years, contestants may have applied to incorrect categories. In order to ensure fairness for all contestants, we sincerely request applying teachers to carefully review your contestant's background to confirm whether they come from a home where Japanese is spoken or not spoken.
We may suspend acceptance or revoke awards if the Speech Contest Committee assesses that a contestant makes a false statement in their application regarding their eligibility and category.


1. School application form (to be completed by Japanese language teacher)
2. Student application form (one per primary and alternate contestants)
3. Waiver form (one per primary and alternate contestants)


Applications are due Friday, February 10th, 2017 by 5:00PM. (Please submit all applications by email to Ms. Mariko Baba


Ms. Mariko Baba
Japan Information Center, Consulate General of Japan
275 Battery Street, Suite 2100
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: (415) 780-6088

*Please note that a confirmation email will be sent in response to each submitted application.If instructors do not receive a confirmation email within one (1) business day, please contact Mariko Baba by phone or email.
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