Alejandro Posada Baena
- Minister Plenipotentiary/Deputy Head of Mission
- Embassy of Colombia
Date of birth: Nov. 10, 1975
Hometown: Medellin, Colombia
Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 3.5 (as of August 2018)
My first encounter with Japan was probably in 2013. I was part of the negotiation team of the free trade agreements of Colombia and I had the opportunity to come to a round of negotiations. I particularly remember how the culture, order and infrastructure impacted me.
I experienced my first small earthquake in the same way and saw how people reacted as if it were part of daily life.
My motto is to “live and let live.” I have chosen it because it reminds me every day that I must respect the way in which human beings choose their paths and that I should likewise forge mine also thinking that the limits of my rights end where those of others begin.
A society without respect among human beings will never prosper; in Japan, respect is a major value.
One of the things that I have been most proud of in my career has been the opportunity to be in charge of the Embassy of Colombia in Japan for just over a year. Being in charge of affairs in a country as important as Japan allowed me to explore new worlds within diplomacy and thus, experience firsthand the construction of a strong and lasting relationship.
The moments in which Colombia lives today make all my efforts focused on building a lasting peace that allows the reconstruction of society in my country. May this peace allow the country to grow more rapidly and citizens to have greater opportunities to prosper. Colombia is a country full of opportunities and beautiful things to show. Our best capital is our people; their kindness and their desire to succeed.
I believe that each society has different characteristics. I do not believe that I have the authority to give advice on how human beings should live or work, but if it is about that I would simply tell them that they should make more time for family, enjoy time with friends and travel the country.
Regarding important tips in daily life, taking time for each thing and continuing with Japan’s beautiful habit of punctuality and respect for each other’s space.
For foreign people who come to this country, eating everything that is offered to us and experiencing Japanese food; it is one of the most delicious cuisines I have ever tasted in my life.
Similarly, although I know it is difficult, try to learn the language — communication is respect. Travel as much as possible and get lost on the roads; there will always be something to see or someone interesting to meet.