Message from Consul General Ito
Are you enjoying the summer in Vancouver? I imagine, like me, you are probably quite excited about the performances of Japanese and Canadian athletes in the London Olympic Games.
Speaking of sporting events, the Japanese Women’s Softball team took the gold medal at the World Championship in Whitehorse, Yukon, holding off the rival US team after a tournament in Surrey. This was an outstanding achievement, I think, although it wasn’t much reported even in their home country as softball was unfortunately removed from the Olympic programme. I met with the team while they were here and was impressed with their confidence stemming from the hard training they underwent. As well, in the Olympic games, whether Japanese or Canadian, I think that each athlete inspires us in variety of ways with their individual stories.
I also traveled to Mission and Abbotsford to meet with the mayors and sister-city representatives of each municipality to discuss their relationships with their Japanese sister-cities; Oyama Town of Shizuoka Prefecture with Mission and Fukagawa City of Hokkaido with Abbotsford. Both municipalities have active sister-city programmes with official visits and student exchanges taking place.
As well, I was invited to the City of Victoria to the event marking the 150th anniversary of the incorporation of the city. Among the guests were the delegates from Morioka City including the mayor and the city council chair, as Morioka is the sister-city of Victoria.
Between Canada and Japan, numerous exchange activities have been taking place at various levels and locations. These exchanges are solidifying a wide range of ties connecting our two nations and are definitely a treasured part of Canada-Japan relations.
August 13, 2012