Consul General Okada’s Web Message for February 2014
This year, we have been blessed with pleasant weather and sunny days, unlike usual winters of constant rain.
For our mild winter in Vancouver, I was envied by visitors from Ottawa and Toronto, as Eastern Canada has been experiencing freezing weather.
On the 11th of this month, the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia opened its new session.
This is the first full-fledged session after the general election last May.
I attended this year’s Throne Speech on the 11th for the second time; I did notice, however, some differences from the previous one last February.
Last year, among Consuls General, only two people, namely the Mexican Consul General, who was then Dean of the Consular Corps, and I, attended the Throne Speech. Usually, foreign diplomats pay close attention to high-profile speeches such as a Japanese Prime Minister’s policy speech in the Diet or the State of the Union address by the U.S. President, because these speeches are considered as indicative of the country’s future direction.
As such, I went to this year’s Throne Speech not anticipating the attendance of Consuls General other than myself. Things were different this time, however. The Consul General of Indonesia, who is currently Dean of the Consular Corps, and Consuls General from the U.S., China, and Germany were also in attendance this year. These Consuls General are all from countries which respectively have significant economic ties with the Province of B.C.
Since my arrival to this post in Vancouver, I have become aware that Japan’s relations with the Province of B.C. have further increased mutual interdependency, reflecting the economic situations of both sides, primarily in the energy sector. It seems that the same can be said for China, South East Asian countries, the U.S., and the E.U. What I strongly sensed was the importance of establishing closer relations between B.C. and Japan ahead of other countries.
In this session, the Legislative Assembly will table issues concerning natural gas, including a legal framework for exportation and securing a workforce for liquefying projects, both of which are crucial for the realization of exporting natural gas to Japan.
I am hoping that these issues will be addressed in an expeditious manner and that a concrete timeline of transporting natural gas from B.C. to Japan will be soon presented.
Consul General of Japan in Vancouver