Message from Consul General Ito
Fine weather still continues as if it’s making up for the late arrival of summer this year. I trust that you have been enjoying Vancouver’s summer season.
I enjoyed attending the yearly picnics that were hosted by different community groups at this time of the year.
Also in August, as a part of my sister-city visits, I traveled to Kimberley and Sparwood in the East Kootenay region. To my surprise, that region of British Columbia is in the same time zone as Alberta is, and there is a one-hour time difference from Vancouver. It seems that the community has closer connections to Alberta in many aspects such as TV programs and economic relations. I, once again, realized the vastness of Canada.
In British Columbia and Yukon, where our consulate serves, a total of 35 municipalities have sister-city relations with Japanese counterparts. I am soon making a final sister-city visit by traveling to Port Hardy; that is the only place I haven’t visited amongst the 35 municipalities. This trip will complete my mission of paying a visit to all the sister-cities during my time of service at the consulate and I hope that my visits have given added impetus to their relationships with their Japanese counterparts.
On the personal side, I have just received an order to return to Japan. Since my first arrival here in Vancouver on September 11, 2009, I have written a monthly message each month for 3 years. (More precisely, my first one was composed in Bahrain where I was previously assigned.) This message is most likely my last one. Thank you very much for reading my messages.
Since my arrival at the consulate, I have repeatedly focused on 3 goals: to provide improved Consular services, to provide correct information on Japan and Japanese culture, and to strengthen economic ties with Japan. As my service here ends soon, I am asking myself how well my goals were achieved. If any contribution to the goals was made, it is because of the tremendous amount of support and cooperation I have received from other people. I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you.
While working in Japan, I will keep a close eye on Canada-Japan relations and would like to help as much as possible to enhance the relations further.
In concluding my last message, I wish you all good health and continued success.
September 13, 2012