Message from Consul General Okada
This is my first message since my arrival in Vancouver on January 25th.
Since then, I’ve attended a variety of events and met with many people. Thanks to the assistance from many of them, I’ve learned much about Vancouver and am getting accustomed to life here.
In Vancouver, I understand, it rains almost every day during the winter months. Meanwhile in Afghanistan, where I was previously assigned, the climate is arid with little rain; so even the daily rain here brings me a feeling of joy and being refreshed.
Since my arrival, I’ve gained a strong sense of the depth of Japan’s relations with British Columbia and Yukon through meeting with people belonging to a variety of organizations including Konwakai (Japanese Business Association of Vancouver), Kiyukai (Vancouver Japanese Business Association) and other Japanese groups, and through learning about their activities. I believe that the amicable relationship between Japan and Canada, as we know it today, has been built by the unremitting efforts and tireless activities of various people and organizations.
I also had meetings with consuls general representing other countries in Vancouver. It was heartening to know that many of them had some sort of engagement with Japan in their past. The US Consul General speaks the Japanese language very well as she once studied in a Japanese university. The US Deputy Consul General was also in Japan having participated on the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme and is fluent in Japanese. The Korean Consul General was working at their embassy in Tokyo in the past and he is conversant with the current conditions in Japan and the language. The Mexican Consul General, who has been in Vancouver for the longest period of time among current consuls general here, was previously engaged in FTA negotiations between Japan and Mexico as a Deputy Minister of Economy of Mexico before he was assigned to Vancouver.
I am sure there will be a number of opportunities for me to meet more people and to attend functions in Vancouver. I am looking forward to such occasions and my time of service here.
Together with all the consulate staff as a team, I would like to make efforts to improve our Consular Services and to provide cultural programs and public relations in a proactive manner in order to make our office an ‘Open Consulate.