Message from Ambassador
Welcome to the HP of the Embassy of Japan in Belgium!
Welkom op de website van de Ambassade van Japan in België!
Bienvenue sur le site de l'Ambassade du Japon en Belgique!
I am Masafumi Ishii, Japanese Ambassador to Belgium. I arrived in Belgium on 12 September 2014. Pleased to meet you.
Belgium has always been a special place for me and I have a feeling that my post as Japanese Ambassador here in Belgium is not a coincidence.
ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) is a body where countries from both Asia and Europe gather. Belgium hosted the eighth summit of ASEM back in October 2010. At that time I visited Belgium six to seven times in one year for the preparation of the summit as a representative of the Japanese government. The following year on 11 March the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami occurred. About two weeks later on 26 March, I had the chance to talk about the resolutions for the reconstruction at a special Japanese session at the annual seminar Brussels Forum, hosted by the German Marshal Fund. We will never forget the valuable support received from the Belgian people.
That being said, I must say I love Belgian beer and many foods made from ingredients of the abundant mountains and seas. Of course, as Ambassador of Japan, it is also an important job of mine to promote Japanese food, Japanese sake and Japanese wine here as well.
The work of the Embassy in such a special country as Belgium is, in a nutshell, the further development of the existing close relationships between both countries in many fields, such as economics, culture and politics. There are a great many tasks ahead, and for the present, I would like to focus on the following areas.
Firstly, I would like to grab the opportunity of the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Belgium in 2016 to create new levels of partnership between both countries. I would like to borrow everyone’s support and knowledge, as well as your co-operation, to organize exciting events and exchanges in diverse fields in both Belgium and Japan.
Secondly, I would like to support business exchanges between Japan and Belgium. There are over 240 Japanese companies present in Belgium, not a small amount of which have been here for 40 to 50 years. There are also about 70 Belgian companies in Japan. One of the main tasks of the Embassy is to support the activities of these Japanese companies in Belgium, and to promote investment from Belgium in Japan. The leaders of both countries agree that the upcoming Seminar for the Promotion of Trade and Investment will be an important opportunity for this.
Thirdly, in addition to bilateral relations, the Japanese Embassy in Belgium is also responsible for relations between Japan and NATO, so I am also the Representative of the Government of Japan to NATO. In recent years Japan has adopted the policy of “proactive contribution to peace” and contributed internationally by increasing its activities in the field of security and Japan has also entered a new page regarding its relations with NATO. To ensure this continuation, I would like to go forward with concrete co-operation.
The Embassy is, more than anything else, a service for Japanese people, as well as a service for Belgians with an interest in Japan. To further develop this special relationship of nearly 150 years between Japan and Belgium, I would like to work together and do my best together with everyone.
Hope to see you sometime, somewhere!
17th September 2014
Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Belgium