Every spring brings longer days, warmer weather and — finally! — a chance to pack away those winter coats. But it’s a rare spring indeed that offers the chance to welcome in a new Imperial era, which we’ll get to do on May 1.
Other good things have been afoot with the changing seasons. On April 1, another round of tariff cuts went into effect as a part of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. And as our discussion with Chief Trade Commissioner Ailish Campbell (page 10) goes to show, this is just the beginning of the many opportunities that will be opening up for large companies, as well as small- and medium-sized enterprises, in both Canada and Japan.
One example of this is the Canadian Technology Accelerator, which will help to bring a variety of innovative Cana-dian businesses to Japan. Meanwhile, Canadian women-owned businesses that are focused on elder care are beginning to explore the Japanese market, where their products and services could prove highly valuable in the years to come.
Three businesses that we profile in this issue show different ways in which ties between Canada and Japan can be strengthened. In the case of Rio Tinto, the Canada–Japan relationship goes back decades, and involves raw material from Canada being used in Japan to make everything from pigment to artificial joints. Shopify is a much newer company, but the e-commerce platform that has been a hit in many countries around the world is already off to an impressive start here, and we’re expecting to hear great things from them in the years to come. Finally, HyLife Pork Table is a Daikanyama restaurant that serves Canadian pork dishes, and it has been a hit with Tokyo diners since it opened in 2016.
For many of us expats, it can be very frustrating to see political events in our home countries unfold and feel as if we don’t have any influence on them. It’s even more frustrating to have lost the right to vote because of having lived outside of one’s native country for what some have considered to be “too long.” Until very recently, that has been the case for Canadians who have lived overseas for longer than five years. But the passing of Bill C-76 in December 2018 and a subsequent Supreme Court ruling have given all Canadian expats over 18 the right to vote. However, as explained in this article, politicians back home may not be pushing very hard for the expat vote, which is why expats who want to make their voices heard need to take matters into their own hands — starting with the important step of getting registered.