Message from Acting Consul General Shinoda

I hope you are doing well although it’s a gloomy season。


November was the month that I strongly felt ‘great pride’ as a Japanese。  I will be grateful if you read though this message which is rather long for a greeting, as I recount my activities report for the month。


On November 3rd and 4th, a Japanese anime event, ‘Anime Evolution’ took place at Simon Fraser University where I gave a speech at the opening ceremony on the first day。  A large number of young people attended the convention wearing costumes of Japanese animation characters, despite the bad weather。  They enjoyed meeting other Anime fans and deepening their understanding of Japanese Anime culture。


On the 5th and 6th, in the City of Richmond I attended a ceremony to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Richmond’s sister city relationship with Wakayama City of Japan。  A delegation from Wakayama, let by Mayor Ohashi, visited Richmond for the occasion。  In the past, a considerable number of Japanese people immigrated to Canada, particularly from Wakayama, and they predominantly settled in Richmond。  Both Mayor   Brodie and Mayor Ohashi have been mayors for more than a decade and have been dedicating themselves to fostering friendly relations between Richmond and Wakayama through activities such as mutual visits and youth exchanges。 Their sister city ties exemplify the idea that ‘interaction between people’ is the basis of amicable international relationships。  I am grateful for their invitation to the ceremony, where I strongly felt that community-level exchange is one of the building blocks that support Japanese diplomacy。


On the 11th, a Remembrance Day Ceremony was held at the Japanese Canadian War Memorial in Stanley Park。  It was a quiet and solemn ceremony to pay respects to the   young Japanese Canadians who fought as Canadian soldiers in the two world wars and the Korean War。  On that day, I thought about what those young people of the Japanese origin had felt on the way to a battle field in order to fight for Canada, as well, on that day, I gave thanks for the peace that we now have。


On the 16th, at the Official Residence, our Consulate hosted the Welcome Back Reception for the15 participants who came back from Japan this year after completing their assignments with the Japan Exchange Teaching (JET) Programme。 The participants shared their experiences in Japan including stories of their interaction with local students and people。  The participants saying, “I miss Japan” especially impressed me。  I think that this is another good example of ‘interaction between people’ as the basis of amicable international relationships, and I believe that links of international friendships have been widespread through the JET Programme。  The total number of the British Columbians who participated in the programme from its inception in 1988 to 2010 is 7,638。  That is the number of youths who have been working in various municipalities in Japan as  Assistant Language Teachers or a Coordinators for International Relations for local governments。


On November 17, having received an invitation, I attended the Triple Commemoration at the Vancouver Japanese Language School and Japanese Hall。 Established in 1906, as an educational organization for Japanese language and culture, it has been playing an important role in protecting Japanese Canadians’ identities, with the exception of the period when Japanese Canadians were interned。  The occasion included the celebration of its 60th anniversary since reopening after World War II。  As a Japanese person, I was thankful for their efforts for the cause and for inviting me to such an inspiring event。


On the 22nd, the inaugural John Howes Lecture in Japanese Studies took place at the Asian Centre in the University of British Columbia。  Dr。 Howes, Professor Emeritus is a leading authority on Japanese studies。  Professor Haruo Shirane of Columbia University delivered a lecture titled “Japan and the Culture of the Four Seasons; Nature, Literature, and the Arts。 ”  He talked about Japanese culture, people and their view on four seasons with Genji Monogatari (The Tale of Genji) and Kojiki (A Record of Ancient Matters) as   subjects。  I learned the views of ancient Japanese people and also discovered new aspects of the culture。  It was a wonderful opportunity to see the depth of Japanese culture and I was proud to be Japanese。  


On the 28th, I attended the fall event hosted by the Canada Japan Society where I listened to a speech by the Deputy Minister for Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training regarding the current situation and the future outlook of economic relations between British Columbia and Japan。 Although it seems that BC’s ties with China have been the focus of attention and Japan’s presence has been upstaged here in this province, I renewed my determination that our consulate be of service in as many ways as possible to promote the relationship between Japan and British Columbia。 I received  encouraging words that the British Columbia government places a great deal of importance on Japan, and the event attendees demonstrated their strong commitment to develop and strengthen Japan’s economic relations with Canada and British Columbia, all of which strengthened my determination。


Last month I had many opportunities to meet with people who love Japan and the Japanese language, who share the greatness of the nation in their actions, and the people who are dedicated to promoting Japan’s friendly relations with Canada and British Columbia。  It was a very fulfilling month。

This is my last message for the year。 Best wishes for the new year!


Kinji Shinoda

Acting Consul General

December 13, 2012




(C) Consulate General of Japan in Vancouver, 900-1177 West Hastings, Vancouver, BC V6E 2K9 Tel: (604) 684-5868. This page updated December 16, 2014.