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Raul Florentín-Antola

Embassy of Paraguay

Date of birth: Nov. 20, 1965

Hometown: Asuncion

Number of years in Japan (cumulative): Less than 1 (as of June 2018)

Raul Florentín-Antola
Q1: What was your first encounter with Japan?

My first encounter with Japan was with Japanese diplomats in Bonn, Germany during my years as first secretary at the Paraguayan embassy back in the '90s. They introduced me and my wife, Maria Liz, to Japanese culinary arts that we enjoy very much to this day. We are very happy to be here since there are so many new things to discover. The first time I came to Japan was November 2013 when I participated in the Japan-Latin America and Caribbean Business Forum as director of the trade and investment agency of our country.

Q2: Please state your motto in life and why you have chosen it.

“Treat others how you want to be treated.” This has always been my motto at work, as well as in my personal life, with which I have had positive experiences. I believe that one gains their true leadership and authority with respect, modesty and solidarity that one shows in their daily life. In my opinion, this mentality is deeply embedded in Japanese culture and I appreciate it very much.

Q3 : Over your career, what achievement are you the proudest of?

The biggest achievement throughout my career in diplomacy is founding the Universidad Paraguayo-Alemana (UPA) when I served as ambassador to Germany. Since its opening in 2014, this university operates through a joint venture with the Industrial Union of Paraguay, providing diverse courses in civil and business engineering in Paraguay. Moreover, the university is fully accredited in both countries and offers Paraguayan-German dual-degree programs.

Q4 : What are your goals during your time in Japan, your current position or in life?

Japan and Paraguay have traditionally maintained friendly relations, and we have experienced significant improvements in the last few years. The increase in Japanese investments in Paraguay, as well as business contacts between both countries is especially notable with twice as much growth over the last five years. The most remarkable thing in this development is that there has been a diversification of investment in new sectors. To boost this trend further, my activities will mainly focus on promoting my country and closely working with the Japanese private sector.

Q5 : What wisdom, advice or tips can you give to people living and working in Japan?

Although it is rather debatable whether I am “qualified” to give tips on living and working in Japan (I moved to Japan in December last year), I would say that it is important to be curious and willing to understand cultural values. Having spent many years traveling, I can assure that this applies whenever you move to an unfamiliar place. Now that I’ve said this, I am opening my textbook to study Japanese!

Last updated: Jun 25, 2018