On 11 June 2016, H.E. Ambassador Bansarn Bunnag and his spouse presided over the opening ceremony of the 4thThai Festival in Sendai at Koutoudai Park, Sendai City. Ms. Emiko Okuyama, the Mayor of Sendai and Mr. Toshihiro Shimizu, President of the Thai Festival in Sendai Committee and other honorable guests from Sendai City and Miyagi Prefecture also attended the ceremony.
The Thai Festival in Sendai was held for the first time between 5-6 October 2013 as an initiative of Sendai City and the Sendai Chamber of Commerce and Industry in order to enhance cooperation between Thailand and Sendai. The festival also gave a boost to tourism because Thai Airways had commenced direct flights between Bangkok and Sendai from 6 December 2013. This event was the first Thai Festival held in the Tohoku (Northeastern Japan) region. Despite Thai Airways having stopped direct flights since March 2014, Sendai City and the Sendai Chamber of Commerce and Industry want to host the Thai Festival in Sendai continuously as one of the annual festivals held in the city.
This year, the 4th Thai Festival in Sendai was held between 11-12 June 2016 and was supported by the Royal Thai Embassy in Tokyo, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Tokyo Office and Miyagi prefecture. In this event, 42 booths exhibited Thai foods, drinks and a variety of products and services. In addition, there were Thai stage performances, which included Thai boxing, Thai classical dance and Japanese and Thai artists such as Nat Sakdathorn and Torn Wanthongchai Intrawat, Champion and the 1st runner up from the 4th year of Academy Fantasia, from the Music Cream and GMM TV production, which the Royal Thai Embassy and Thai Air Asia X had supported. During the 2 days of events, it was estimated that approximately 50,000 people participated.
Furthermore, the Royal Thai Embassy also exhibited booths to celebrate Her Majesty Queen Sirikit's seventh cycle, or 84th, birthday anniversary. Exhibits also included Thai mango; Keaw Savey and Chok Anan, which have only been allowed to be imported into Japan since February 2016.