New Year's Greetings from Ambassador Kaoru Ishikawa
Ambassador of Japan to Canada
Welcome to the Embassy’s website.
It is a pleasure for me to bring you greetings on behalf of the Embassy of Japan to celebrate the new year.
This year began with a significant parliamentary-level dialogue between Canada and Japan. The delegation of the Japan-Canada Diet Friendship League visited Vancouver on the occasion of the 17th Bilateral Meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Groups of our two countries.*
Headed by Mr. Yoshitaka Murata, Member of Japan’s House of Representatives, the Japanese delegation of five Diet members met with their counterparts consisting of seven parliamentarians from the Canada-Japan Inter-Parliamentary Group, co-chaired by the Honourable Bryon Wilfert, Member of Parliament, and the Honourable Senator David Tkachuk. It was an honour for me to observe this meeting between Canadian and Japanese political leaders as they discussed a wide range of issues including fiscal policy, trade and international affairs.
Since my arrival as Japanese ambassador to Canada five months ago, I have had the privilege of visiting various provinces across the country. I am profoundly impressed with the vastness and diversity of Canada -- surrounded by the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans – and its rich historical legacy. These impressions of Canada have inspired me to further strengthen the friendship between our two countries, and it is my hope that as many Japanese will have the pleasure of visiting Canada and discovering the many sides to this country.
As an Embassy, one of our roles is to share and present the culture and traditions of Japan to Canadians. For 2011, I am very proud to share with you that the Canadian Museum of Civilization will host an exhibition entitled JAPAN: Tradition. Innovation., from May 20 to October 10. The driving theme behind this exhibition is Onkochishin, or the development of new ideas based on the study of the past.
Looking back, 2010 was a significant year of accomplishments for Japan, particularly in the field of science and technology. Most notably, an unmanned spacecraft developed by Japan named Hayabusa made history by bringing back, for the very first time, particle samples from an asteroid after seven years of journey in space. Furthermore, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Dr. Suzuki and Dr. Negishi from Japan.
Several notable achievements have had a global impact, from the creation of iPS (Induced Pluripotent Stem) cells, which have the potential to revolutionize medical treatment, to the use of Japanese carbon fibre technology which was critical in the development and manufacturing of the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 aircraft. These milestones are just one of many which have solidified Japan’s position as a leading nation in science and technology. In this capacity, Japan has partnered with Canada on many fronts, from the business cooperation between Bombardier and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for the manufacturing of airplanes, to the docking of the Japanese-built H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) with the International Space Station, in which the Canadian-built CANADARM played an important role, a surreal image that is still vivid in our memory today.
I know that the exhibition at the Canadian Museum of Civilization will provide an excellent opportunity for visitors to reaffirm the fact that the function and design of Japanese products remain one of the best, and that our country’s cutting-edge technology is very much a part of Canadian society, a testament to the knowledge and wisdom of the Japanese people acquired over the past few centuries – this is Onkochishin.
From strong political relations to invaluable business and technological partnerships, it is my firm belief that the friendly relations between Japan and Canada come from shared common values, including legal predictability under the rule of law, parliamentary democracy with a multi-party system whose representatives are selected by secret ballot in a free electoral process, and freedom of expression. The same cannot be said for many of the 192 nations of the world.
With the rapid progress of globalization, and in an era susceptible to friction and conflict, I believe it to be tremendously important that nations built on such social and legal stability should work hand-in-hand to build a better future. By doing so, we can realize our collective goal of global security and prosperity.
I wish you and your families a happy 2011.
Ambassador of Japan
*The attendees of the 17th Bilateral Meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Groups of Canada and Japan were:
Canada-Japan Inter-Parliamentary Group
Hon. Bryon Wilfert, P.C., M.P.
Hon. David Tkachuk, Senator
Mr. Dennis Bevington, M.P.
Mr. Tony Martin, M.P.
Mr. Christian Ouellet, M.P.
Mr. Mike Wallace, M.P.
Mr. Terence Young, M.P.
Japan-Canada Diet Friendship League
Mr. Yoshitaka Murata, Member of the House of Representatives
Mr. Masaharu, Nakagawa, Member of the House of Representatives
Mr. Yuichi Goto, Member of the House of Representatives
Mr. Takahiro Kawagoe, Member of the House of Representatives
Mr. Isao Kuwabara, Member of the House of Representatives