Dear Canadians and friends of Canada,
On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation, it is my great pleasure to wish you a Happy Canada Day! This special anniversary provides an opportunity to reflect upon the Canada–Japan relationship and look forward as we further strengthen our political, economic and people-to-people ties.
Canada and Japan share much in common, including our respect for democracy, human rights, the rule of law and a commitment to free trade and open markets. In these times of global uncertainty, it is more important than ever that G-7 economies like Canada and Japan lead by example and pursue every opportunity to preserve and promote these values.
In this respect, the Embassy will continue to work to increase trade, investment and innovation ties between Canada and Japan and advocate for establishing a strengthened policy framework, such as an Economic Partnership Agreement and via broader regional initiatives, to bring greater prosperity to all our citizens. I know that we can count on the support of our friends in the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan (CCCJ) and Japanese and Canadian companies to highlight the benefits that a modern trade policy framework would bring to both our countries.
Canada’s 150th anniversary comes at a time of renewed momentum in the Canada–Japan relationship, following a series of Canadian high-level visits to Japan over the past year. Prime Minister Trudeau visited in May 2016 ahead of the Ise Shima G-7 Summit, making Japan his first Asian destination for a bilateral visit.
In total, 14 Cabinet Ministers have visited Japan since the Trudeau government took office. In addition, we have also seen visits to Japan from Premier Wynne of Ontario, Premier Notley of Alberta, Premier Clark of British Columbia, Premier McNeil of Nova Scotia and Premier Gallant of New Brunswick, not to mention a number of provincial ministers and mayors, as well as Canadian parliamentarians. Canada’s commitment to the relationship at all levels of government is clear.
Our priority will be to continue to build on this strong level of engagement to ensure that our country remains top of mind as a partner for trade, investment and innovation. I look forward to working hand in hand with the CCCJ to achieve this common objective.
I thank you for your ongoing support, collaboration and commitment to the Canada–Japan relationship and wish you a very Happy Canada Day.