A message from Shuichi Akamatsu, ambassador and consul general of Japan in Shanghai:

“On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China, I make much of capturing the thoughts of people living in the present age, promoting exchanges which are needed now and seeking new developments.

Shuichi Akamatsu, Ambassador and Consul General of Japan in Shanghai | © JAPANESE EMBASSY
Shuichi Akamatsu, Ambassador and Consul General of Japan in Shanghai | © JAPANESE EMBASSY

Throughout the long history of interaction between Japan and China, we have developed a culture of mutual empathy. This common cultural foundation is unique between Japan and China, which undoubtedly plays a positive role in deepening economic relations.

We are in an era where people in both Japan and China place higher priority on pursuing the quality of life rather than the material affluence.  The quality of life would be equated with safety, security and a high standard of comfort. We should consider an exchange theme that suits our modern lifestyle. For example, I think it is appropriate to exchange ideas which create value by sharing ideas about food and drink culture, design and content.

It will also be appropriate to share knowledge from both sides and seek cooperation on issues common to Japan and China, such as taking measures against the declining birthrate and our aging populations. Also, we can together tackle the climate change issues: In terms of the environment and energy, we would be able to cooperate on the establishment of a hydrogen-based society.

Furthermore, it is important to create an environment in which the younger generations of both countries increase their interest and deepen their understanding of one another to create new exchanges. We should also further promote exchanges between regions of Japan and China, because such region-level exchanges are an important foundation for strengthening ordinary people’s friendly ties.

This year’s 50th anniversary is a valuable opportunity for both countries’ stakeholders to reflect and take action. I am planning to develop Japan’s ties with the Eastern China region: Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui and Jiangxi.  I believe Eastern China is one of the most important regions in China which can enhance mutual understanding and cooperation between the two countries.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, I hope that Japan and China will share their ideas and strengths and encourage exchanges which together will lead to a further constructive relationship for future generations.”