New Year's Greetings from Ambassador Okuda
January, 2015



Happy New Year 2015.


The year 2014 was my second year in Ottawa as Japanese Ambassador to Canada. Following Prime Minister Abe’s visit to Canada the previous year, I believe that the relationship between Japan and Canada has progressed even more. On the political front, a number of high-level meetings were held including foreign affairs and defense vice-ministerial-level 2+2 dialogues in Ottawa in March and a visit by The Honourable John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs to Japan in July.


On the economic front, we completed three rounds of negotiations for the Japan-Canada Economic Partnership Agreement. In addition, Japanese companies are actively participating in LNG projects in British Columbia and working hard to overcome challenges on our path towards the realization of exporting LNG to Japan. As an Embassy, we will continue to support initiatives to nurture a vibrant business environment for Japanese companies in Canada, as well as taking necessary measures to facilitate the obtention of Canadian visas for Japanese company representatives.


The year 2014 also saw a number of exciting events in the field of cultural and academic exchange. In October, Dr. Satoshi Omura, Distinguished Emeritus Professor at Kitasato University, received the prestigious Canada Gairdner Award for his work in the field of medicine. Furthermore, Japanese films received awards at both the Montreal and Vancouver International Film Festivals. I am very proud to see that Japanese advancements in science and culture are garnering increased attention and recognition in Canada.


As Ambassador, I will continue to work for the people of both nations to attain even more benefits, both tangible and intangible, as a result of our close bilateral relationship.


I hope that 2015 brings you good health and I wish you a wonderful new year.




Norihiro Okuda
Ambassador of Japan to Canada