Consul General Okada’s Web Message for December 2013
The streets of Vancouver are decorated with Christmas lights and the shiny lights make the entire city looking as if it has been anxiously waiting for next week’s holiday.
On the 17th of this month, our Consulate hosted the Emperor’s Birthday reception, the final major event of the year. The reception was a great success with over 500 guests. I would like to extend my appreciation to those who supported the reception: the guest emcee; those who made ikebana follower arrangements; the chorus members who sang; those who conducted the tea ceremonies; all the providers of green tea, sake, and Japanese food; and the attendants of the travel booths.
This year, I believe, with possible redrawing of the world energy map, Japan’s ties to Canada have further developed. In particular, the ones to the Province of British Columbia have greatly advanced, as I mentioned in my speech at the reception. Through the mutual visits of top-level government representatives, such as Prime Minister Abe, Mr. Motegi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, and Premier Clark, a course was charted which will establish concrete and cooperative relations mainly in energy matters. In line with this course, I expect that business and governmental exchanges will increase further and the relationship between Canada and Japan will grow to a ‘mutually essential and complementary relationship’ beyond the existing frame of being a ‘very friendly relationship’.
This year the Emperor’s Birthday reception was attended by John Duncan, Minister of State for the Government of Canada, Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia, Teresa Wat, Minister of International Trade, and Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business. In her speech, Premiere Clark talked about the outcome of her visit to Japan at the beginning of this month. She quoted the Japanese saying ‘One chance, one encounter’ and expressed her understanding that this is the time to reinforce the relationship between Japan and British Columbia.
Next year, the Consulate General of Japan in Vancouver will mark its 125th anniversary. The history of one and a quarter centuries also includes the history of Japanese people who moved to Canada before our office was founded. In 2014, our Consulate is planning to work on a variety of programs with the purpose of using the year as an opportunity to look back at the path the Japanese people have taken in Canada, and to bridge that past with the future of Japan and Canada. In order to mark these efforts, a logo was designed.
I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!