Update about the 2020 Ohio Japanese Speech Contest

Over the past few weeks, the Japan-America Society of Central Ohio has been monitoring the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19), and has been contact with our partners in the Ohio Japanese Speech Contest. Upon consultation with these partners, and based on recent developments across the state of Ohio, we have decided to cancel the 2020 Ohio Japanese Speech Contest originally scheduled to be held this upcoming Saturday, March 14.

Above all else, we wish to ensure the safety of the students, teachers, and audience members who would be traveling to Dublin to attend the speech contest. This decision follows a number of announcements made in recent days in relation to the coronavirus outbreak, including Gov. DeWine’s March 9 declaration of a state of emergency in Ohio (please see https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/…/gov-dewine-signs-emergency-o…). As a non-profit organization in Ohio committed to enrich the community, JASCO shares the responsibility for the safety of all persons living in Ohio. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that COVID-19 spreads through personal contacts, and that carriers may not know that they carry the virus. Any type of travel and contact can spread the infection. As participants and audience members would have been traveling to the Speech Contest from across Ohio, we must keep the health and safety of everyone involved as our top priority. Please see at https://www.cdc.gov/…/mass-gatherings-ready-for-covid-19.ht…for more information

We are disappointed to be sharing this news with you today, especially in recognition of the hard work that all finalist students have put in to preparing for this event. Out of a desire to see that hard work rewarded, we are currently evaluating potential avenues for holding this year’s speech contest online. While this decision comes too late to be able to hold this Saturday’s scheduled event online, we are currently in discussion with the judges and our event partners about how we might facilitate an online competition that would allow for the real-time presentation of speeches for the judging panel as well as a real-time Q&A interaction between finalists and judges. That conversation is currently ongoing, and we hope to have more information to share with you in the upcoming weeks.

Thank you for your understanding, and please look for additional communications in the upcoming weeks about a potential online contest.


Benjamin Pachter
Japan-America Society of Central Ohio

The 2020 Ohio Japanese Speech Contest

Saturday, March 14, 2020
Dublin Integrated Education Center
Ohio University Dublin Center
6805 Bobcat Way, Dublin, OH 43016

Japanese Language Learners in Ohio!
It's time to showcase your accomplishments and win prizes!


$2,000 Prize for 1st Place
$200 Prize for 2nd Place
Consul General's Award trophy for 3rd Place

2020 Ohio Japanese Speech Contest Information


Saturday, March 14, 2020, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm 


(Detailed schedule to be announced in 2020)


Ohio University Dublin Integrated Education Center

6805 Bobcat Way, Dublin, OH 43016


Applications and speeches must be received by the JASCO office by Friday, February 7, 2020. 

*Late applications will not be considered.


Please submit the following 4 items by email to JASCO at jasco@jas-co.org:

  • A completed Application Form with your signature
  • An original Japanese speech (handwritten or typed). Please use the designated paper found below.
  • An English translation of your speech
  • An audio recording of your speech (mp3 format preferred)


The speech must be under 3 minutes in length (each speech will be timed, and points will be deducted if it is longer than 3 minutes).


Any topic is acceptable. The speech must be your own original work.


  • High School Level
    • Applicants who are currently studying Japanese in High School.
  • College Level 
    • Applicants who are studying Japanese in 1st – 4th year College level courses.
  • Advanced Level
    • Applicants who are applicable to one of the following:
      • Have stayed in Japan for a TOTAL of 6 months or longer (including multiple shorter stays e.g., 2-month stay for 3 times)
      • Have taken the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) N2 or N1 and passed.
      • Are beyond college level (beyond 1st – 4th year levels).

Use the below flow chart to determine your participation level.

2020 Ohio Japanese Speech Contest Speech-Writing Materials

2020 Ohio Japanese Speech Contest Eligibility Information

If you have any questions about your eligibility, please contact jasco@jas-co.org.

2020 Ohio Japanese Speech Contest Sponsors

The 2020 Ohio Japanese Speech Contest is made possible through the support of the following organizations and individuals:


 Shoko Yoshitake   

Statement of Purpose

Since 1999, JASCO has been hosting the Ohio Japanese Speech Contest, offering an opportunity for Japanese-language learners to showcase their achievements. The objective of this event is to foster Japanese language education throughout the state of Ohio by supporting the continued effort of local public schools and colleges to improve the quality of the Japanese-language learning environment.

The winners of the contest will receive prizes that will encourage them to continue studying Japanese language. This competition not only provides highly motivated students across the state with the chance to improve their Japanese language skills, but also inspires and encourages others to broaden their understanding of Japan, its culture, and the strong ties between Japan and United States.

In Collaboration With:

The Japanese Student Organization (JSO) at 
The Ohio State University

Students assist JASCO in planning of the speech contest as well as in managing and coordinating the day-of activities. They have no direct influence in the screening and judging process. 

Snapshots from the 2019 Japanese Speech Contest

2020 VENUE: Dublin Integrated Education Center

Dublin Integrated Education Center

Ohio University Dublin Center
6805 Bobcat Way

Dublin, OH 43016


For questions, contact Benjamin Pachter (JASCO Executive Director) via email or call the JASCO Office at (614) 300-3054.

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©2019 Japan-America Society of Central Ohio | (614) 300-3054  | jasco@jas-co.org

JASCO is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 565 Metro Place South, Suite 300, Dublin, Ohio 43017-5283

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