Consul General Okada’s Web Message for July 2013
It is now a full-fledged summer in Vancouver.
This is my first summer in Vancouver. Unlike the extremely hot summer in Japan, here the temperature is more comfortable and it does not get dark until past 10 o’clock. I’ve been fully enjoying this wonderful season . I planted tomatoes, cucumbers, and kidney beans in the garden of the residence and they have been thriving.
In British Columbia, the second term of the Clark Administration has begun. The Cabinet ministers have been selected and B.C. Premier Christy Clark has won a seat in the legislature via a by-election. Implementation of the government’s policies is under way, and the new administration has committed to building a strong economy, achieving a balanced budget, and creating job opportunities.
In order to build a strong economy, they promised to accelerate the development of natural resources, centering on projects related to Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and to strengthen trade with countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
I think that this policy will bring about a great opportunity for Japan and B.C. to strengthen their economic relationship further.
In Japan, under ‘Abenomics’, certain economic indicators, such as the yen-dollar exchange rate and stock markets, have improved and are showing signs of recovery in Japan’s domestic economy. With its nuclear power plants still shut down, however, Japan is facing a challenge to find a way to secure a stable energy supply which can support production activities.
One of the solutions for that problem could be the supply of LNG from B.C. It would truly align with Japan’s needs and B.C.’s economic policy. To balance the interplay of supply and demand, we need to prepare to engage in active policy dialogue and improve the business environment . Premier Clark plans to visit Japan this fall. For this visit to lead to bear fruit, it is important to carefully watch the direction of B.C.’s policies and nurture our relationship: just as I take care of my garden’s tomatoes and cucumbers, so it will bear fruit.
Consul General of Japan in Vancouver
July 19, 2013