INTRODUCTION2010 is a year of renewal for both Japan and the European Union (EU). Japan experienced a handover of political administration in September 2009. With the Treaty of Lisbon entering into force from December 2009, the EU is reforming its institutions and policies. In the coming 19th Japan-EU Summit leaders' meeting, leaders will discuss various issues in order to further strengthen Japan-EU relations.
Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry, with three metrical phrases. Haiku in English has been written by Europeans residing in Japan as early as the 18th century, and haiku poetry was introduced in several European countries during the 20th century. In the early 21st century there is a thriving community of haiku poets writing in several languages throughout the EU. The President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy enjoys haiku and is a notable haikuist.
Taking opportunity of the 19th Japan-EU Leaders' Summit, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the European Union are pleased to launch the Japan-EU English Haiku Contest, as an opportunity to share haiku related to the theme of "Japan and Europe". The organizers hope that this contest will serve as an opportunity to encourage mutual understanding among people, to promote the interaction of people's views on Japan and the EU, as well as to convey the enjoyment of writing and reading English haiku.