Ambassador Monji’s Visit to Morioka City - April 5, 2017


Before attending the 3rd Japan-Canada Joint Chamber Council Meeting on April 6th and 7th, 2017 in Sendai City, Ambassador Monji visited Morioka City. Morioka City became a sister city with Victoria, British Columbia, in 1985, and the two cities continuously hold various exchanges. Ambassador Monji met with Mr. Hiroaki Tanifuji, Mayor of Morioka City, and exchanged views on sister city relations between Morioka City and Victoria. They had also discussed how they can further strengthen the cooperation and the friendship it has with Canada. In view of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Morioka City is registered as a host town for Canadians, and intends to promote exchanges relating to sports. At the meeting, Mayor Tanifuji explained the diverse exchanges held in Morioka City, especially the sports, as well as the culture and the economy. Ambassador Monji appreciated Morioka City’s activities, and told the Mayor that the Embassy of Japan in Canada would like to cooperate to strengthen the relations between Japan and Canada.

Mayor Tanifuji and Ambassador Monji

Mayor Tanifuji and Ambassador Monji

Morioka City had made arrangements so that Ambassador Monji would be able to visit Kamaishi City, the municipality that was hit by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, to observe the current situations of reconstruction. Ambassador Monji talked with Ms. Akiko Iwasaki, the owner of Horaikan, a Japanese-style hotel, who has been talking to people about the earthquake, tsunami and reconstruction. He also visited a public apartment complex in the Unosumai area, where the damages of the tsunami were very serious. The visit to Kamaishi City enabled the Ambassador to grasp the current situations of the stricken areas.

Reconstruction of the tide embankments

Site of the stadium for the Rugby World Cup 2019

Public apartment complex in the Unosumai area

Briefing by staff of Kamaishi City about reconstruction

Ambassador Monji and Ms. Akiko Iwasaki,
owner of Horaikan

Pine trees near Horaikan that escaped the tsunami

After his visit to Kamaishi City, Ambassador Monji gave a lecture entitled “The new era for cooperation between Japan and Canada” in Morioka City. Approximately 90 people, including Mr. Takuya Tasso, Governor of Iwate Prefecture, attended the lecture. Ambassador Monji talked about the politics, the economy and the culture in Canada, as well as Japan-Canada relations in diverse fields, such as security and pop culture, and answered participants’ questions. Ambassador Monji also attended a social gathering, where about 40 people were present, and actively exchanged views on sister city activities between Morioka City and Victoria, as well as how to further strengthen relations between Japan and Canada.

Ambassador Monji’s lecture

Mr. Tasso, Governor of Iwate Prefecture, and Ambassador Monji