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September 19, 2020

The scars left by the disaster show us the key to the future

By H.E. Natsuo Amemiya, Ambassador of Japan to Romania

“It is my great pleasure to send a message to the readers of Nine O’clock, on the occasion of the 78th birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan.

This year has been one in which the international community has seen great changes – starting from the Arab Spring up to the European economic crisis etc. In this context, the relations between Japan and Romania, as important partners sharing fundamental values, have deepened and matured steadily. It is very important to tackle, together with Romania – which is trying to establish itself as a responsible member of EU and NATO – not only bilateral issues, but also common international issues, regional affairs, Japan-EU EPA etc, and we would like to promote them actively.

Japan was struck by an unprecedented disaster on March 11. Nine months have passed since the great earthquake. These nine months have been extremely difficult for Japan. At the same time, however, it has been a period during which Japan has once again realized that we stand together with the world. Now, after this disaster, our country bears in its mind and soul the unbreakable ties which connect it with the rest of the world. The scars left by the disaster show us the key to the future.

Here in Romania – from the Government, NGOs, and from ordinary citizens – we have received humanitarian aid and donations for the people affected by the earthquake. Moreover, support events have been organized in different part of the country – exhibitions of children’s drawings, memorial concerts and artistic performances dedicated to the victims etc. I extend my heartfelt gratitude for this assistance.

Special mention must be made of this September’s visit to Romania of fifteen students from the University of Fukushima, located in the affected area, upon the invitation of the Romanian Government. It was a great pleasure for me that they enjoyed their two-week meaningful stay in Romania. Their visit also became a good opportunity for future youth and academic exchange between our countries. We are determined to realize the reconstruction of Japan as soon as possible. The infrastructure and economy of the coastal areas of Tohoku, North East Japan, are recovering. Damaged supply chains are close to full restoration. The Government of Japan will continue to make every effort to restore and reconstruct the disaster-affected areas, providing prompt and accurate information on the situation of our nuclear power plant and on food security. We will strengthen the bonds with the other countries and aim for reconstruction not inward looking, but open to the international community, including Romania. The key to our future success is “THE ECONOMY”. Regarding the economic relation with Romania, this year has been the one in which we have seen the possibility of the development in bilateral relation.

In May, Japan and the EU concurred on the necessity to begin a negotiation process in order to conclude the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) which is expected to expand business opportunities between Japan and the EU, including Romania. Furthermore, in September, a business partnership memorandum was signed between one of Japan’s largest banks, Mitsubishi Tokyo UFJ Bank, and Romania’s Centre for Commerce and Investments, with a view to promoting investments and commerce between the two countries.

I hope that the bilateral relations between Japan and Romania will become more mature through deepening our win-win relation in the economic field.

In November, the Embassy of Japan in Romania organized “Japan Month”, a series of events under the theme “Beyond the Great East Japan Earthquake – Towards a More Attractive and More Vigorous Japan”. Through these many events we think we have successfully shown to the Romanian people the attractiveness and vigour of Japan, which has not lost the battle with the recent unprecedented calamities.

In spite of the massive damage caused by the earthquake and the tsunami, the cherry blossoms bloomed courageously among the rubble. I am convinced that the Japan and Japanese people will bloom again, like the beautiful cherry blossoms blooming in full glory, and these blossoms will bring rich and bright fruits, even much more than that in past days before the Earthquake.

To conclude, I would like to express my sincere hope that the next year will be more wonderful and fruitful one, filled with happiness and prosperity for both of the Romanian and the Japanese people.

Please allow me to extend my cordial wishes to the readers of the Nine O’Clock.

“Merry Christmas” and “A Happy New Year” to you all!”

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