Although azaleas are in full bloom, signalling that summer is just around the corner, and activity throughout much of the country returns to a more normal pace, there are still many in the affected regions who continue their clean-up and rebuilding efforts following the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake. Canada continues in its efforts to support Japan's recovery and reconstruction. Canadians have given generously to support those in need following the tragic events of March 11, and Embassy staff have been working in close partnerships with various non-governmental organizations and volunteer groups from the local Canadian community to raise funds, provide in-kind contributions and support relief efforts in the affected regions. We recognize the severity of the human element of this tragedy, and in addition to the thousands of thermal blankets and radiation dosimeters donated to the Government of Japan, the Embassy will soon be hosting a BBQ with the Canadian Beef Export Federation in the Sendai region to build the spirits of a community as they rebuild.
Looking forward, this month marks the 20th Anniversary of the official opening of the Embassy of Canada's chancery building on Aoyama Dori. We are very proud of Canada's presence here in Tokyo: Japanese-Canadian architect Raymond Moriyama's building allows us each year to host hundreds of events featuring Canadian business, culture and policy advocacy, and to engage with thousands of Japanese.
To mark this occasion, we have installed an exhibit in our Prince Takamado Gallery reflecting on the time of the Chancery's construction. I invite you to visit our facilities to learn more about the Canada-Japan relationship. The exhibit will run until June 3, and while you are here please also visit our E.H. Norman Library, which has one of the largest holdings of Canada-related materials outside of Canada.
But from our look back 20 years, we also want to look forward, to the future of Canada-Japan relations. Our friendship remains strong. Prospects for an enhanced trade relationship, for more cooperation between our two governments on matters affecting peace and security, and for future student, research and cultural exchanges are good.
As always, the welfare and safety of Canadians in Japan continues to be a top priority for the Embassy. I therefore encourage all Canadians in Japan to register with our Registration of Canadians Abroad if they have not done so already. The Government of Canada travel advisory has also been updated recently to reflect the steadily improving situation in the affected areas. Please visit the travel advisory page regularly for current updates.
I know that all Canadians share my admiration for the dedication, resourcefulness and resilience of the Japanese people, and my optimism about the future of Japan, and of the Canada-Japan relationship.
Jonathan T. Fried
Ambassador of Canada to Japan