The end of the year represents for all of us a good opportunity to summarize the year’s accomplishments, to reflect on what has been done and what still remains to be achieved.
Our own National Day, on the 1st of December, is such a moment of reflection, as we are sure the 23rd of December – the Emperor’s Birthday and the National Day of Japan – is for the Japanese people.
This year has been auspicious for the friendly relations between Romania and Japan. Our dialogue in various fields was substantial; the interactions both bilaterally and at a global level have diversified and have acquired a more profound character. Our two countries have reached a better level of mutual understanding, both have shown a genuine desire to draw upon each other’s experience and insights, to pool together their resources in order to better face the complexities of the contemporary world and to find common ways and means to act accordingly.
To this respect, 2015 marked an intensified exchange of political, economic and cultural ideas. First and foremost, the President of Romania, Mr. Klaus Iohannis, met in September Mr. Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, during this year’s UN General Assembly ‘Impact 10x10x10’ forum on Women’s Empowerment, which occasioned a very fruitful exchange of views on gender equality and the promotion of women’s rights. Japan was the host of this year’s event, and the fact the Romania was invited to join this format can be perceived as a clear indication of our experience and of our advanced, open-minded position on this matter.
During the 2015 elections for the UN Security Council, we supported Japan for a non-permanent seat, following our conviction that this country is a strong proponent of the democratic values and an active contributor to all the efforts for securing peace and stability in the world.
These are two of the most obvious examples of the consensus existing between our countries regarding democratic values and their respect for the rule of law.
We enjoy a fruitful collaboration in the field of economy as well. Japanese companies operating in Romania have created around 30.000 jobs and are yielding a production which accounts for 10% of Romania’s exports on the European markets. We are aware that there is still much to be done in order to achieve the true potential for economic cooperation of the two countries, and evidently we should do more to promote our products on the Japanese market, hopefully after the successful conclusion of the Free Trade Agreement/Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations currently underway between the EU and Japan.
Cultural exchanges have also been strong and growing. Quite recently, the organizers of the Sibiu International Theatre Festival received the prestigious Japan Foundation Award for 2015, for their role in promoting Japanese drama and culture in the world.
These forms of collaboration are just a few, but they illustrate the closeness of our ties, their solid foundations and their promising future. They are the result of a long friendship of more than a century of mutual interactions. Ignoring the great geographical distance separating our countries, this friendship is based on a strong communion of spirit, the same respect for traditional values, the same peaceful and constructive disposition of our two peoples.
For all these reasons, on the auspicious occasion of the birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, it gives us great pleasure and satisfaction to extend to the friendly Japanese people our most sincere wishes for happiness, great achievements, harmony and prosperity.