ISLAMABAD - A friend in need is a friend indeed. More than 32 schools of the twin cities participated in the Embassy of Japan School Children 'Art Competition and Speech Contest' titled, 'What kind of friend is Japan to Pakistan: Is Japan a Friend.' Students of the competition significantly highlighted the cordial relations of Pak-Japan, which both the countries are enjoying since 1952. In their speeches they commended the role and cooperation of Japan in every sphere of the economy of the county like Ghazi Barotha Project, PIMS children Park, assistance in earth quack and flood hit areas and financial assistance especially in education sector. The children, who hits the top positions in the 'Art and Speech Contest' belonging to Roots school System, F.G. Girls Model School G/9-3, Beaconhouse School System, Schola Nova F/8-3, Saint Paul Education System Rawalpindi, Sheikh Zayed International Academy H/8-4, Islamabad Model College, Spring Field Public School Rawalpindi, Presentation Convent School and International Grammer School. The Embassy of Japan, in collaboration with Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA), the Pakistan Japan Cultural Association (PJCA), Islamabad and the MEXT Alumni Association of Pakistan (MAAP), organised the Japan Children Art Competition and speech contest on Wednesday here at National Art Gallery. The competition, which proved popular among the school children for the past 14 years, is the part of the Japan-Pakistan Friendship Fest 2008 and promotes creativity among the talented and budding young artists and speakers, consisting of nearly 100 enthusiastic students from over 32 different schools of twin cities. Students of 13 and 14 years of age composed pictures in the Art Composition of the theme "Me In Japan". Ghulam Rasool, renowned painter of the pride of performance and former Directors General PNCA, Fauzia Minallah, renowned painter along with a representative of the Embassy of Japan made up the panel of judges for the art competition. One student of each school of the same age competed in the speech contest with the topic "What kind of friend is Japan to Pakistan: Is Japan a Friend?" The panel of judges for the speech contest was comprised of Ishrat Hayyat, senior journalist, Shabnam Riaz, PTV English Newscaster and a representative from the Embassy of Japan. Chihiro Atumi, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan, Syed Ijlal Haider Zaidi, President PJCA, Dr Muhammad Akbar, President MAAP and Tauqir Nasir, Executive Director, PNCA, awarded prizes to the winner of the speech contest and of the art competition. While addressing on the occasion, Chihiro Atumi, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan has said; "We hope that this competition will provide an opportunity for the students to formalize themselves about Japan and to contemplate on the friendly relationship Japan and Pakistan have enjoyed for more than five decades."     He mentioned, "However, this event is our first cultural event since my arrival in Pakistan last month this presents a tremendous opportunity for me to immerse myself in the rich culture of Pakistan through your eyes, introduce to you the importance Japan places on Pakistan and further strengthening Japan-Pakistan ties."