Message from the Japanese Ambassador to Belgium
My name is Makita SHIMOKAWA, and have been assigned to Belgium as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.
Japan and Belgium have constructed long-lasting and distinctively close friendly relations. We celebrated the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between the two countries in 2016, with various commemorative events. While respecting people-to-people bonds strengthened by such anniversary events, the Embassy will further strengthen the two countries’ friendly and cooperative relations. I will also endeavour to promote awareness in this country on Japan’s allure including its culture as well as political and economic situations.
In Belgium, 5,896 Japanese expatriates (based upon registration as of 2018) are living now. The Embassy gives its priority to the assurance of Japanese expatriates’ safety and support to them, working hard to address their questions and concerns reassuringly.
The series of terrorist attacks which took place three years ago still give us a fresh memory. Subsequently, the terrorist threat level within Belgium has been decreasing, but the Embassy will continuously do its utmost to ensure Japanese expatriates’ safety, bearing in mind persistent terrorist risks.
Japan and Belgium have been advancing their close economic relations, thanks in part to the entry into force of the Japan/EU Economic Partnership Agreement in February this year. Currently, 223 Japanese companies are settled in Belgium (as of October 2018), which has become a main business base in Europe. We wish to provide further support to Japanese companies, based upon the rapidly changing circumstances, including the expected withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.
I would appreciate support and encouragement from all of you.
September 2019, in Brussels