H.E. NATSUO AMEMIYA, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Romania
“On the day when the Japanese people celebrate the 76th birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, it is my great pleasure to share our sentiments of celebration with the readers of “Nine O’Clock” by casting a brief glance at bilateral relations between Japan and Romania.
This year was an anniversary year for both Japan and Romania, and also for the relationship between the two countries. In Japan, we celebrated fifty years of marriage of their Imperial Majesties, and also twenty years since the Enthronement of their Imperial Majesties. On the other hand, Romania celebrated 150 years since the unification of the Principalities of Wallahia and Moldavia, and twenty years since the 1989 Revolution. Together, Japan and Romania celebrated fifty years since the reestablishment of diplomatic ties in 1959.
The relations between Japan and Romania started in 1902 but were interrupted for a certain period of time beginning with 1944. The diplomatic ties between the two countries were then re-established on the 1st of September 1959.
During this anniversary year, we have organised several Japan-related events every month. It is worth mentioning that, in May, Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino paid a visit to Romania and attended a number of events which have deepened the friendly relations between two countries. Also, beginning with the 1st of September, which is the anniversary day of the reestablishment of diplomatic ties between Japan and Romania, the Government of Japan has applied measures to exempt Romanian citizens from entry visas to Japan temporarily, for a period of two years. I hope that through these measures the commercial and tourist exchanges between the two countries will be further promoted.
Japan has traditionally been enjoying cordial relations with Romania in the fields of political dialogue, economy, economic cooperation, culture etc.
In the field of political dialogue, I would like to emphasise that the relations between Japan and Romania are not just traditionally friendly, but also the two countries are important partners, who share the fundamental values such as freedom and democracy, and who cooperate tightly in what concerns regional and international issues. After the 1989 Revolution, Romania has accomplished a change in regimes, and joined NATO and the EU through reforms accompanied by sacrifices. It is very useful to have a continuous and active dialogue with Romania and to tackle together not only bilateral issues, but also common international issues, such as the economic crisis, climate change, nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, etc.
As to the economy, the presence of our manufacture industries in Romania is increasing. There are 17 companies and 24 factories, which employ more than 20.000 Romanians in the field of automobile parts etc.
At the level of economic cooperation, after the December 1989 Revolution, Japan has supported the reform efforts of Romania towards democratisation and market economy through Official Development Assistance (ODA). Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the inauguration ceremony of the national road Timisoara-Lugoj, its rehabilitation works being mainly supported through the Japanese ODA loan project. It was my great pleasure to see many Romanian people who appreciated the efforts made by Japan.
In the field of culture, this year saw the launching of the “Japan Culture Volunteers Program”, which dispatches Japanese volunteers to Romanian educational institutions and NGOs, with the mission of introducing Japanese culture, and of teaching the Japanese language. With this program, the exchanges between Japan and Romania at grassroots levels have become more active.
Personally, I arrived in Romania in September and I enjoyed meetings with many interesting people. During these three months, to my great surprise, I discovered that the Romanians take a keen interest in Japanese society and culture. This new knowledge has motivated me to do my very best in order to strengthen relations of close collaborations in many fields.
To conclude with, I would like to express my sincere hope that the next year will be a fruitful one, filled with excellent achievements, happiness and prosperity for both of the Romanian and the Japanese people.”