Greetings from Ambassador Kaoru Ishikawa
New Ambassador of Japan to Canada
It is a great privilege for me to extend my heartfelt greetings as the new Ambassador of Japan to Canada. I am very happy to be able to work in this beautiful country. In my role as Ambassador, I hope to visit various communities from coast to coast and further promote the friendly relations between the two countries.
Japan and Canada have a strong bilateral relationship based on shared values such as freedom, democracy, human rights, the rule of law and the market economy. As the most mature functioning parliamentary democracy and the most advanced market economy in Asia, Japan is a key partner in the region which Canada can count on.
Over the past few years, we have witnessed numerous milestones that serve as evidence of this strong relationship. Most notably, in 2008-2009, we celebrated eighty years of diplomatic relations between our two countries. The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, visited Japan and held a bilateral summit meeting on the occasion of the Hokkaido Toyako G8 Summit in 2008.
A year later, Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan paid a historic visit to Canada upon the invitation of Her Excellency the Right Honourable Governor General Michaëlle Jean, meeting with people, young and old, across the country.
More recently, the Japanese Prime Minister, His Excellency Mr. Naoto Kan , came to Canada to attend the G8 and G20 Summits in 2010 and held a bilateral meeting with the Right Honourable Prime Minister Harper.
As a result of its respect for diversity, and encouraged by our friendly bilateral relationship, Canada is home to a vibrant and strong Japanese-Canadian community. I am happy to know that many Japanese-Canadians have made invaluable contributions to their respective fields, from education and technology to politics. I am also glad to learn that more than 340,000 Japanese people visit Canada each year and 150,000 Canadians visit my country every year, including young people in the context of working holidays and the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme. I believe they are “ambassadors,” playing a role in introducing each other's language and culture, and expanding our circle of friendship.
Today in the globalized world, Japan and Canada are working together on global issues, addressing environmental concerns, international development, and technological advancements. In doing so, it is of my strong conviction that people are the protagonists to realize a better world.
As Ambassador, I will spare no effort in continuing to consolidate the friendship between our two peoples, and I look forward to working with you towards this goal.
Ambassador of Japan to Canada