On Jan 25, the election of the Japan delegate for the Miss International Beauty Pageant 2014 was held at Yakult Hall in Shimbashi, Tokyo.

Twenty-four candidates from various parts of Japan gathered, including a high school student, fitness instructor to the one studying to become a doctor. For the first round of reviews, the candidates appeared wearing beautiful furisode kimono and appealed to the panel of judges with a short self-introduction. For the second round, they walked in front of the audience in eye catching swimsuits. Ten finalists selected for the third round each gave speeches wearing white dresses with elegant rose motifs.

“Tokyo will host this year’s pageant so we chose the delegate based on her ability to communicate. Having a heart of Japanese hospitality was a crucial factor,” explains Akemi Shimomura, the chairperson of the International Culture Association.

The winner of the election of the Japanese delegate is 21-year old Rira Hongo, a university student living in Tokyo. She also participated in last year’s competition. “I will win the grand prize for the international pageant. I will devote myself in preparation for the competition and will not forget that I was chosen with a purpose,” said Ms. Hongo after the results were revealed. First runner-up was Tomoe Minagawa, a 22-year old from Ishikawa with Taiwan roots, and second runner-up, Remi Osugi, a 23-year old from Chiba who involves herself in volunteer work. Risa Shichino was third runner-up, a 24-year old from Hokkaido who practices cheerleading.

The above four will participate in philanthropic activities throughout the year. The Miss International Beauty Pageant 2014 will be held on Nov 11 at the Grand Prince Hotel in Takanawa, Tokyo.