Akemashite Omedetougozaimasu. Happy New Year!
It has been more than a year since I started working as Ambassador of Japan to Canada. Time flies!
During this period of time, Japan-Canada relations have made significant progress in various fields. For our economic relations, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) was ratified by both Japan and Canada. A final investment decision of LNG Canada for a LNG project in which a Japanese company participates was made. On the peace and security front, Canada is actively participating alongside Japan in an international initiative to counter North Korea’s maritime smuggling. As well, Japan and Canada signed the bilateral Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), which will strengthen cooperation between the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and will allow both countries to make efficient use of each other’s equipment and services. Furthermore, there were active and frequent high-level exchanges last year such as the visit of Prime Minister Abe to Charlevoix. Most recently, Prime Minister Abe had a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau in November 2018 in Papua New Guinea. They discussed the importance of keeping the Indo-Pacific region free, open, rules-based, and further enhancing Japan-Canada strategic cooperation.
The year 2018 marked the 90th anniversary of Japan-Canada diplomatic relations (90 years since the Japanese legation was established in Canada) and saw many commemorative events, which I believe have contributed to furthering mutual understanding between our people. To commemorate this milestone, our Embassy launched a ‘Japan, Canada and Me’ video project, featuring individuals from both Japan and Canada who have laid the very foundation of our relationship and who are serving as bridges between the two countries. Please have a look!
This year, Japan will be hosting quite a few international events such as the G20 Summit, the TICAD7 for African development, and the Rugby World Cup 2019, in all of which Canada will take part. The 90-year commemorative celebrations will also continue in the new year, which will mark the 90th anniversary of the establishment of Canada’s diplomatic mission to Japan. It is my New Year resolution to put this strategic cooperation into “action” in many areas including diplomacy, economy, and culture, while seizing all these aforementioned opportunities. I would be grateful if you could render your kind support in every regard.
Last but not the least, I wish you the very best for a prosperous and happy New Year.
January 1, 2019