Romanians have apologised to Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe, on the Facebook page of the Japanese embassy to Bucharest, for the “lack of courtesy” shown by Romanian authorities, after the Japanese Premier cancelled his visit to the Victoria Palace following Premier Mihai Tudose’s resignation just a few hours before.
Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe paid a historic visit to Bucharest on Tuesday, the first official visit to Romania paid by a Japanese Prime Minister in the last 100 years.
“To His Excellency, Ambassador Kisaburo Ishii. On my own behalf, I would like to wish the Premier of Japan a warm welcome to our country, where I wish he had been welcomed by Romanian authorities with the proper respect. As a citizen, I apologise for the lack of courtesy on the part of Government representatives,” A. Argesiu wrote.
Another person apologised, “as a Romanian citizen,” for the fact that the Japanese Premier was not properly welcomed.
“You know very well that Romanians are characterised by hospitality and care. Unfortunately, they are poorly led!” a message reads.
“As a regular Romanian citizen, I apologise for the way my country’s Government has treated this official visit!” and “Welcome to our country and I assure you the Romanian people respect you. The Japanese people are a role model for us and we want to strengthen the relations of friendship and the economic ties,” read other messages posted on the Japanese embassy’s Facebook page.
The apologies were posted as comments on the posting concerning Premier Shinzo Abe’s visit to Romania.
Premier Shinzo Abe’s visit to Romania, marred by Tudose’s resignation and protocol blunders
Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe’s visit to Romania, the first visit to Romania paid by a Japanese official of this rank, was marred by a series of protocol blunders on the part of the Romanian authorities, which included the Japanese Premier being welcomed at the airport by a secretary of state.
Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe was welcomed at the ‘Henri Coanda’ Airport in Otopeni by Foreign Ministry secretary of state Dan Neculescu. Officially, Deputy Premier Marcel Ciolacu was the Government representative designated to welcome the Japanese Premier.
“Sending someone whose rank is close to the rank of the person paying the visit is a sign of respect. Unfortunately, [what happened] is a gesture that comes after many others, and I couldn’t pinpoint from what area of lack of knowledge of diplomatic rules it comes. The Japanese are, traditionally, extremely careful with procedural details, protocol details, they are formalists from very many points of view. While for other states such a gesture could go unnoticed, for the Japanese – as I know them – it won’t go unnoticed,” ex-Foreign Minister Cristian Diaconescu stated for MEDIAFAX.
Likewise, Premier Shinzo Abe had to modify his schedule because of Premier Mihai Tudose’s resignation. The Japanese Premier cancelled the visit he was scheduled to pay at the Victoria Palace, and visited the Village Museum of Bucharest instead, accompanied by his wife Akie Abe. The two were welcomed by Culture Minister Lucian Romascanu.
PMP leader Traian Basescu criticised the authorities in his turn too. On Monday evening, in a Facebook posting, he warned that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is in the country and is interested in investments in Romania.
“We should send him to Daddy, because we’ve just been left without a Government,” Basescu wrote.
Former SMEs Minister Florin Jianu adopted a critical attitude too, stating on Tuesday that the Japanese Premier could perceive as “an affront” the fact that he had no one to meet at the Victoria Palace, following Premier Mihai Tudose’s resignation.
“Think about Japan’s economic and social culture and how the Premier of Japan will see this (the lack of a Premier for the official meeting – editor’s note). He will see it as an affront, because they care about these things very much, about etiquette, and they will say: ‘they couldn’t abstain for at least a day from holding this ExCom, at least until the Prime Minister of Japan left,’” the Chairman of CNIPMMR stated at a press conference.
Jianu reminded that Japan is looking for countries to invest in. “They are in a tour through all South-East European countries and the Baltic states. Japan is now looking for trade partners. It’s a chance one gets once every two decades.”
Asked for his comment on the Japanese Premier’s visit, which was compromised by this change of Government, Liviu Dragnea stated on Tuesday: “The Japanese Deputy Premier met the Romanian Deputy Premier. The Premier also met the Romanian President.”
“There was also a meeting with important companies, and they also met the Economy Minister, and I believe it was a good meeting that I hope will have future effects,” Dragnea added.
Asked whether Romania’s image was affected by this political crisis, Dragnea said: “I know many countries in which the Government was replaced.”
Asked about the Japanese Premier’s decision to refuse meeting Romanian Government officials, Dragnea answered sarcastically: “It’s a correct decision on the Japanese Premier’s part. It is a correct decision, there’s nothing to reproach.”
Akie Abe, utterly impressed with tea ceremony at MNAR
The wife of Japan’s Government Prime Minister Akie Abe on Tuesday evening professed being “utterly impressed” with the cultivation, in Romania, of an ancient Japanese tradition such as the tea ceremony and promised that once back to her country she will share this fact with the Japanese youth.
As a Japanese I am utterly impressed to see all these girls dressed in kimonos and who have learnt to celebrate the tea ceremony here, so far away, geographically speaking from my country. Unfortunately these days, in Japan there are not so many young people to learn the Tea Ceremony, however, when I get back I will tell everywhere that in Romania, such a far away country, people learn our culture that we should also be proud of, Akie Abe said at Romania’s National Art Museum (MNAR).
Japan Prime Minister’s wife inaugurated, together with Culture Minister Lucian Romascanu, the Tea Room, as part of the future Oriental Art Gallery of MNAR, stating that she wishes Japanese art oeuvres will soon be on the museum’s walls.
Akie Abe expressed hope that the visit of her husband, Japan’s Gov’t Prime Minister, to Romania contribute to the development of the two countries’ bilateral relations.
In his turn, Minister Lucian Romascanu affirmed being “very honoured” by the Japanese guests’ visit to Romania and saluted the accomplishment, through the inauguration of the Tea Room, with the support of private partners, of the first stage of “a successful MNAR project, the first part of the future Oriental Art Gallery.”
“Even if political life tends to be tumultuous in this corner of the world, the places we have seen today – the Village Museum and the National Art Museum – are quiet places where we can find ourselves and we can enjoy the beauties that the Romanian cultural life and not only can grant us,” Romascanu further said.
Akie Abe subsequently participated in a tea ceremony, alongside the wife of Japan’s Ambassador in Bucharest, Sachiko Ishii, with disciples, teachers and masters of Urasenke Japanese School in Bucharest.
Euronews: Anyone there? Shinzo Abe picks worst moment to visit Romania
Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe’s visit was affected by the political crisis in Bucharest, Euronews informs, noting that the Japanese leader was unable to meet the Romanian Premier, given the latter’s resignation.
“Japan’s Prime Minister travelled 8,700 kilometres to make a historic visit to Romania — only to find his opposite number wasn’t there to welcome him. Shinzo Abe became the first-ever Japanese head of government to make an official trip to Bucharest. But his timing was unfortunate: it came after Romanian Prime Minister Mihai Tudose resigned on Monday evening because he lost the support of his party,” Euronews writes in an article titled: “Anyone there? Shinzo Abe picks worst moment to visit Romania.”