Consul General Okada’s Web Message for November 2013
Daylight Saving Time is over and fallen leaves on the street tell us that the winter season has come. When I arrived in Vancouver at the end of January this year, many people told me about the winters in Vancouver that have a long spell of rain and chilly weather. So far, I have found the recent winter scenery pleasant, conveying the ambience of the season.
Earlier this month, all the heads of the Japanese diplomatic establishments in Canada met in Toronto. The attendees included the Ambassador from Ottawa, and Consuls General from Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal. As well, the officials, from the North American Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan, attended. During the meeting, as a head of each establishment, they candidly exchanged views on the overall diplomatic relationship between Canada and Japan. They also met with representatives from the private sector and had a meaningful exchange of opinions about the economic ties between the two countries.
In regards to the economic relations of Canada and Japan, the attendees confirmed their understanding that the economic activities of the private business sector have been further revitalized, together with the government leaders making efforts to facilitate the relations and exchanges. These efforts include Prime Minister Abe’s visit to Canada in September and the subsequent visit to Vancouver by Mr. Motegi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, in order to substantiate the results of the Summit Meeting.
In concert with these progressive moves in economic relations, the diplomatic establishments also agreed to strengthen cooperation with each other and enhance collaboration with other organizations, such as the Japan Foundation, in order to further promote cultural relations and exchanges between Canada and Japan.
Next year, the Consulate General of Japan in Vancouver will mark the 125th anniversary since its foundation. The long history of one and a quarter centuries is indeed the history of Japanese descendants in Canada. With this fact in focus, the meeting attendees agreed to organize various events in cooperation with Japanese Canadian communities. Our Consulate is going to explore and carry out a variety of events to celebrate the milestone. I believe that, in the local Japanese Canadian community, many events will take place next year as in previous years. Our Consulate is willing to collaborate with the local events. I would be happy if you could share your event ideas with us.