Consul General Okada’s Web Message

With continuing pleasant weather, it has been quite summer-like here in Vancouver.  I hope you are doing well.
A long-waited event, the FIFA World Women’s Cup Canada 2015, has just started.   Nadeshiko Japan, the women’s national team is now advancing to the knockout stage after winning all 3 matches in the group stage.  I am hoping for Nadeshiko’s continued success.
In my web message last month, I wrote about the very active sister-city exchanges between the cities of Yokohama and Vancouver, between Morioka City and the City of Victoria, and between the cities of Kushiro and Burnaby.   As well, a number of other local governments have been engaging in exchange activities.  Such activities are now extending beyond exchanges of people to include economic activities.
A few days ago, some staff from the City of Abashiri and an area representative from the Japan Agricultural Cooperative visited Vancouver to discuss exporting opportunities to British Columbia for their local agricultural products including Nagaimo potato, wheat, asparagus, and Wagyu beef.
It is increasingly difficult for Japan’s agricultural industry to solely rely on its domestic markets.  While they have traditionally played defence by protecting their domestic products from foreign imports, under these new circumstances, the agricultural policies in Japan are now going on offense in new roles as forwarders by venturing into overseas markets.  The recent visit of the Abashiri delegation was in line with these new efforts.  Exporting agricultural products from Japan may face various obstacles including quarantine and pricing.  However, I believe that they will attract much interest by highlighting the quality and safety of their products.
Our consulate continues to fully support such endeavors by local governments.
June 2015
Seiji Okada
Consul General of Japan in Vancouver

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