Message from Consul General Ito
The sunny weather has lasted into September, making up for the late start of summer this year. I hope you are doing well.
Last month was quite eventful as usual. I met with Premier Clark of British Columbia, and discussed the economic relations between Canada and Japan; in the meeting I emphasized the importance of Japan. I also attended the opening ceremony of the Copper Mountain Mine, near Princeton. It was quite encouraging, especially after the Great East Japan Earthquake, to see the launch of this project in which a major Japanese company has invested.
My official schedule last month also included a trip to the Village of New Denver where I visited the Nikkei Internment Memorial Centre. As the Consul General of Japan, this was a much-longed-for visit, during which I deepened my understanding of the gruelling life at the internment camp. My admiration goes to the Canadian Government for their courageous decision to designate a place of such a sombre legacy as a National Historic Site. I enjoyed meeting with the mayor of New Denver and Kyowakai Society members. My itinerary also included a visit to the cities of Trail, Nelson and Castlegar, which all have twin city relationships with Japanese cities. I met with the mayors and discussed their sister-city relations. These cities made donations to the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake, for which I thanked them.
At the end of August, our 8th floor office moved to the existing space above as our 2-story office amalgamated into a single floor space on the 9th floor in the same building. In order to avoid inconvenience to the visitors to our Consular Department, we kept the department at the exact same location with minimum construction to the area. Please visit our office without hesitation as before.
Two years have passed quickly since I arrived here on September 11, 2009. I have been saying that as the Consul General of Japan, the three pillars of my mission are to provide improved Consular services, to provide correct information on Japan and Japanese culture, and to strengthen Japan’s economic ties with British Columbia and the Yukon, the two areas in which I serve.
While I am not sure how long I will stay here, reflecting on the past two years’ work, I am renewing my determination to do my best. I ask for your continued support and cooperation.