Message from Consul General Ito
Summer-like weather is finally staying with us although we need to watch it carefully this year as the weather has been up and down with rain returning after only a few sunny days. However, complaining about our overcast skies may be a bit of a luxury considering the frequent wildfires and heat waves in the United States which caused the cancellation of their Independence Day fireworks displays.
My recent focus has been on visiting cities in our area of service, namely British Columbia and Yukon, which have twin relations with Japanese cities. In the past month, I traveled to Colwood and Campbell River on Vancouver Island, and also to Kamloops and Ashcroft. There are 34 cities in BC and 1 in Yukon with sister-city ties in Japan and I have been aware of the important role that those relationships play in strengthening the bonds between Canada and Japan. Since the Great East Japan Earthquake, my understanding of the value of these sister-city connections has been further confirmed as I have witnessed the part they played in supporting the disaster struck region and I have been taking as much time as possible to visit those sister-cities and meet with their mayors and sister-city committee members. Although their backgrounds and activities differ greatly from city to city, our consulate would like to do its best to assist them. As my stay in Vancouver is now nearing the 3-year mark, for the second time, I am receiving invitations to meet with sister-city delegates from Japan I met at the beginning of my posting here and to attend exchange events from sister-cities I visited in the past. I would like to keep my attention focused as much as possible on the development of sister-city relations even though travel across the vast land of Canada is sometimes difficult.
Best wishes for your summer holidays.
July 13, 2012