Consul General Okada’s Web Message for March 2014
It is becoming more like spring in Vancouver, and some cherry trees in my official residence have started to bloom.
Last month, I visited Whitehorse in Yukon, which is under our Consular District along with the province of British Columbia. I enjoyed the pristine blue sky and crystal clear air of this northern capital, although it was still cold with the temperature at 15 degrees below zero. At night, I could see the aurora borealis from the city.
In Whitehorse, there were a number of Japanese tour groups there to see the aurora borealis. The people in Yukon are working hard to attract more tourists from Japan. During my visit, I met with high-ranking officials of the Yukon government, including the Deputy Premier, the Minister of Economic Development, and the Deputy Minister of Tourism; they were all hoping to see an increase in Japanese tourism. The Economic Development Minister also told me that the government would like to make efforts in developing mineral resources in Yukon and is hoping for investment from Japan.
With its magnificent nature, Yukon offers not only the aurora borealis in winter, but also opportunities for outdoor activities during the summer months, although getting there is not easy due to its distance from Vancouver. I look forward to visiting Yukon again for a summer vacation.
During this trip to Whitehorse, I visited Yukon College and gave a lecture on Japan, which covered current economic situations including Abenomics and the relationship between Canada and Japan. I am grateful for the earnest audience; a number of people attended the lecture and they asked me many questions after the speech. I hope that occasions such as my lecture might help the people in Yukon to deepen their understanding of Japan.
I also had an opportunity to meet with a group of university students from Japan, who are currently studying the English language at Yukon College. These students have put themselves in a new surrounding that is totally different from that in Japan, and have been studying English and enjoying various activities in the freezing weather. It is also important that, through these students, grassroots exchanges are further facilitated between Canada and Japan.
My schedule in March includes a business trip at the end of the month to Prince Rupert, where there are high expectations for a large investment in an export terminal for natural gas. I will take this topic up in my next message.
Consul General of Japan in Vancouver