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11:02 | Jul 30 | 2014

Former Ambassador of Japan in Yakutia: like a duck to water

 July 29, 2014, Yakutsk. First President of the Republic of Sakha, Russian State Duma Deputy Mikhail Nikolayev met with a group of Japanese NGOs.

The group of Japanese public leaders was headed by former Japanese Ambassador to the Middle East, now Adviser to the Mitsui Corporation Gotaro OGAWA. He was accompanied by President of Sakurama Group Keiko SAKURAMA and Administrative Director of the Japanese NGO “Development Assistance Committee of ties with the Republic of Sakha” Akio SATAMURA.

His Excellency told about the purpose of his visit to the Republic:”I came to explore Yakutia because I'm going to establish a society of friendship between Japan and the Republic of Sakha. I already have been staying in Yakutia for three days and I feel great satisfaction of what I see here, and I feel myself like a duck to water”.

Mikhail NIKOLAYEV urged guests to promote relations between ordinary people, to develop what is called “people’s diplomacy”.Mostly politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen visit Japan, but ordinary citizens do not go to your country and do not know about it. This is mainly due to the difficulty of visa receiving, there is no direct flight to Japan, and the impossibility to get place to work upon graduation in Japan. I propose to concentrate on the development of communication and understanding between people, ordinary citizens of our countries. It is possible to work in the field of scientific cooperation, student exchange, and exchange between artistic groups. The more we know about each other, the stronger is our bond. We need to establish relationships on a human level so that our young people could visit your country, and to found special scholarships, facilitate visa receiving. No end of work.

Every 4 years we organize Children’s Olympics for all of Asia. Japanese students are actively involved in international sports games “Children of Asia”. Such sports exchange and participation of our children in sports could be strengthened. For the last 15 years we have been holding international competitions “Tuymaada” for schoolchildren in chemistry, physics and mathematics and we invite Japanese students to take part in them. 20 years ago we opened a wonderful school for gifted children in music. During this time the High School of Music has won more than 600 awards at international and national competitions. We have Japanese children there, too, and we can also strengthen our cooperation in this field.

And we have a school where children complete all school training course by the age of 13-14. There a unique training program has been developed. Japanese children could actively get in contact with such schools and do joint projects. In order to live in peace and harmony we need to deal with universal issues”, - said the First President of the Republic of Sakha.

Gotaro Ogawa said that because of their mentality, the Japanese do everything carefully and slowly, so they cannot keep pace with quick Koreans and businesslike Chinese. But now Japan is experiencing, to some extent, a revival thanks to the policy of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who wants to see Japan as an open country where people from many countries can learn and work. In particular, Adviser Ogawa mentioned the need to build links with Russia. He reiterated the determination of Japan in establishing contacts with neighboring countries. “We strive to increase the flow of tourists, to make preferences on visas for young people, to develop an internship program, and will be investing a lot of effort in this direction”, - said former Japanese Ambassador Gotaro Ogawa.

Mr. SATAMURA drew attention to the endemic problems in the development of international relations, pointed to a lack of awareness. He also said that in recent years, with his assistance of about five hundred Yakutians received visas and were able to visit his country. With regard to the direct air service, he pointed to the possibility of organizing connecting flights to Japan through third countries, such as through Busan in South Korea.

Ms. SAKURAMA thanked the First President of the Republic of Sakha for agreeing to meet, and expressed her and other members’ admiration for his work on the socio-economic, cultural and educational development of the Republic being its leader. “Wherever we are, all people talk about you and your wise policy. And it is very gratifying to meet you”, said Ms. SAKURAMA.

The meeting took place in a quiet room of the business center of the Tygyn Darkhan Hotel.  In conclusion Mikhail Nikolayev thanked the guests and presented Yakut souvenirs. In his turn Mr. Ambassador also presented to the First President of the Republic of Sakha neatly wrapped gift in Japanese style, containing traditional Japanese sweets and biscuits.

Source: IA SakhaLife