To go along with summer’s swelter, Japan has for weeks been in the grip of FIFA World Cup fever. As soccer fans of teams from around the world stayed up until the early hours of the morning to cheer, celebrate, and commiserate, we were all reminded of the power that sports have to bring us together.
Even though heated political rhetoric has raised tensions among Canada, the United States, and Mexico over the past months, the world of athletics has brought the countries some welcome good news: a united bid has won the three the right to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Here’s hoping that the preparation for the event gives them the opportunity to work together for their mutual benefit.
Continuing on the topic of sports, in this issue we learn more about rugby players on both sides of the Pacific who are maintaining their dedication to the game well past their forties and strengthening ties between Canada and Japan. We also find out how Japanese carmakers play an important role in supporting the Canadian economy, and see how one of Japan’s largest companies could have a major part in an upcoming liquefied natural gas project based in British Columbia. Meanwhile, Montréal mayor Valérie Plante’s recent visit to Japan has laid the groundwork for deeper business ties between Québec and Japan in the years to come.
One of the best ways to connect nations is through education. To see such collaboration under way, we took the opportunity to catch up with students and teachers involved in a program run by the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business, which took 25 students around Japan to learn more about Japanese business practices. We also meet Riyo Whitney, who recently joined the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan (CCCJ). As the new principal of Bunka Suginami Canadian International School, she was able to provide insight on the importance of sharing one of Canada’s most important assets — its education system — with Japanese students. To learn more about the topic of accessibility, and how Japan’s cities could become more open to people with disabilities we talked with Joshua Grisdale, the man behind the website Accessible Japan. Finally, as I take up the role as the new editor-in-chief at The Canadian from Maxine Cheyney, who has returned to London, I’d like to extend my warm greetings to all of our readers and members of the CCCJ. I look forward to meeting you at social events, and hearing your opinions about how we can make this publication an even better reflection of the diverse community that it serves.