Message from the Ambassador of Japan to Belgium
My name is Hajime Hayashi and I am the newly appointed Ambassador of Japan. On May 16, I presented my credentials to His Majesty King Philippe of Belgium and officially took office as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Kingdom of Belgium.
Last year, we celebrated the 150 Years of Friendship between Japan and Belgium and many commemorative events were organized in both countries. Among those events, the State Visit by Their Majesties King Philippe and Queen Mathilde left a particularly deep impression.
I combined my function as Director-General of the European Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the function of Head of Secretariat of the 150 Years of Friendship, which made me directly responsible for the Japanese-Belgian relations in Japan. This time, I wish to further promote Japanese-Belgian friendship relations here in Belgium.
It goes without saying that the close economic relations which Japan has built with Belgium are of great importance. Currently, there are 229 Japanese companies active in Belgium, which have made Belgium one of the most prominent areas for Japanese business. While taking into account situations such as the withdrawal of the UK from the EU, I will endeavor to support Japanese companies in Belgium and make efforts to develop Japanese-Belgian economic relations even further.
The consecutive terrorist attacks that took place in Brussels on March 22 of last year have caused severe harm to many people, including to Japanese nationals residing in Belgium. The Belgian authorities have also made great efforts and since then no more harm from terrorism occurred in Belgium. While always keeping the threat of terrorism in mind, I want to work hard to ensure the safety of Japanese residents.
As Ambassador of Japan, I also take up the role as Representative of the Government of Japan to the NATO, whose headquarters are based here in Belgium. As a partner with a responsibility for peace and stability in the world amidst an ever more uncertain global security environment, I wish to further develop Japan’s relationship with NATO.
I look forward to the support and cooperation of all of you.