It gives us great pleasure to address this message on the occasion of the National Day of Japan celebrated on December 23 -– the birthday of His Majesty the Emperor Akihito. In August this year – the 28th of the Heisei Era or “The Era of Overarching Peace” – His Majesty the Emperor, now 82, expressed his desire to renounce the Chrysanthemum Throne. While conveying our best wishes of good health and long life to His Majesty, we are compelled to also evoke in a few words the outstanding achievements of his propitious reign.
In spite of the economic hardships at the beginning of the 1990s and the reshuffling of the political board brought about by the end of the Cold War, the Heisei Era witnessed a constant process of renewal and reinvention which strengthened Japan’s position as a world leader, its status of a profoundly democratic country, a stability factor and foremost distributor of development aid among the international community. Afflicted by numerous natural disasters of catastrophic proportions, the last of which being the Kumamoto Earthquake in 2016, the country has remained strong and resolute, and highly confident in its future. This is the result of the widely renowned dedication, work and spirit of the Japanese people, as well as of the effectiveness of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic and administrative policies. Japan is now preparing for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, it is building a high-speed intercity Maglev line, has successfully launched an automated space transport ship intended to service the International Space Station. It is a leading country in robotics, in research and development of new materials, in chemistry and other high-tech fields. It invests massively in research and education, and it also attracts young specialists through its consistent scholarship policies. It is admired for the respect it shows for its cultural heritage and traditions, while being, at the same time, one of the most developed and modern countries in the world.
From the standpoint of our bilateral relations, the Heisei Era coincided with a revival of our cooperation in various fields. Japan stood by us from the beginning of our democratization process after 1989. Through its comprehensive Official Development Aid programs and generous cultural grants and scholarships, Japan has proved to be a reliable and generous supporter of Romania’s steps towards radical transformation and modernization. True to its promises, Romania is endeavoring to be a good host for numerous Japanese companies interested in setting up their operations in our country. In fact, this aspect has already proven to be rewarding for both sides, as, for example, 10% of Romania’s exports towards the EU in 2015 consisted of goods produced by Japanese companies based here. The Japanese companies have created over 18,000 jobs in Romania and we are confident that this number will constantly increase, as Romania has strengthened its business environment through a solid economic growth and macrostabilisation over the last years. The recent positive developments in advancing the M6 Otopeni Airport – Gara de Nord Metro Line project, one third of which being financed through a Japanese loan, has generated encouraging perspectives for promoting new relevant Romanian-Japanese cooperation projects. It gives us confidence that, under the provisions of the Renewed Partnership signed in 2013 between Romania and Japan, our cooperation will broaden and diversify even more in the future.
With these in mind, we would like to congratulate the friendly people of Japan on its National Day and to convey our most heartfelt wishes for good health, happiness and every success to Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan.