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Message on Canada Day 2016 in Japan

July 1, 2016

On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to extend to all Canadians and friends of Canada a very happy Canada Day.

Over the past year, the Canada-Japan relationship has grown at all levels – government-to-government, business-to-business and people-to-people. The highlight was the visit to Japan of Prime Minister Trudeau and Madame Grégoire Trudeau. In addition to participating in the G7 Leaders' Summit in Ise-Shima, Prime Minister Trudeau had an audience with their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan, met bilaterally with Prime Minister Abe and promoted Canada's automotive sector through meetings with some of Japan's leading automobile and automotive parts manufacturers. Canadian Ministers also visited Japan to attend G7 Ministerial Meetings, several adding a bilateral component to their visit to foster the bilateral relationship.

On the business side, our relationship continues to grow. Bilateral investment continued to be a driver for both our economies with Canadian companies investing over $8 billion in Japan and Japanese companies investing over $22 billion in Canada. Japan is currently Canada's largest source of investment from the Asia region. This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the Canada-Japan Science and Technology Agreement and this sector has seen significant achievements and a strengthening of ties, including with the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Physics to Professor Arthur McDonald of Queen's University and Professor Takaaki Kajita of the University of Tokyo. Our business communities also deepened their ties through the establishment of the Canada-Japan Chambers Council, which held its inaugural meeting in Vancouver in March.

We have seen significant activity in the area of peace and security cooperation over the past year. Highlights included a meeting of Foreign and Defence Deputy Ministers, the visit to Tokyo of the HMCS Winnipeg and continued cooperation between Canada and Japan to combat illegal, unreported and unauthorized fishing.

Canada's reputation for high quality education, in English and French, in an affordable environment continues to resonate in Japan. The fall 2015 Study in Canada fair was the Embassy's largest ever, welcoming over 2,300 people from the Japanese public to interact with representatives from 86 Canadian educational institutions. On November 2-3, 2016 in Tokyo and November 5, 2016 in Osaka, we will again hold our Study in Canada Fair and look forward to welcoming you! Over the past year the strong cultural ties between Canada and Japan were exemplified through exhibits at the Embassy's Prince Takamado Gallery and through the many Canadian concerts, films and artists that were welcomed to Japan. For information on our educational, cultural and other events, please follow us on twitter @CanadaNihon, @CanEmbJapan, @AmbCanJapon or sign up to receive our E-newsletter at the Embassy website.

2016 marks the 5th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake. This past March, over 250 Japanese lanterns provided by Natori city were decorated with messages of hope and illuminated at the Embassy to show Canada's support for the people of Tohoku. In addition, the Embassy and program sponsors organized a special Tohoku-focused edition of the Canada-Japan Leadership Fund scholarship program, providing an opportunity for students from the affected region to pursue short-term language study programs in Canada.

On the people-to-people side, I would like to recognise the many friends of Canada who, through Canada-Japan friendship societies, sister city linkages and more, contributed to the development of the Canada-Japan relationship through activities that engaged individuals and businesses on both sides of the Pacific.

Next year, Canada will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation, an opportunity for Canadians from coast to coast to coast to celebrate the achievements of our country and show their pride in being Canadian. We hope you will share in the celebration with us.

Happy Canada Day! Bonne Fête du Canada!

Martial Pagé
Chargé d'Affaires a.i.
Embassy of Canada




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