May 31, 2018
New Year Greetings from Ambassador Yamada
Happy New Year to all! I am amazed to know that more than half year has already elapsed since I assumed the job of Japanese Ambassador here in Armenia.
Last year turned out to be an exceptionally rich and fruitful year for Japan-Armenia relations. In January, the Japanese Embassy, which has been active in Yerevan for more than 4 years, finally found and settled in a new building as a permanent premise. In February, Japan – Armenia Investment Agreement – the very first among the countries in the Caucasus region – was signed. The Japanese Diet has already ratified it and we are now eagerly waiting for the ratification by the Armenian National Assembly. In September, a historic visit by the Japanese Foreign Minister – again very first since the independence of Armenia and the establishment of our diplomatic relations a quarter century ago – finally took place.
For Armenia, too, the year 2018 was really extraordinary even in the context of its very long and ancient history. More than anything, the peaceful transition which took place in spring attracted the whole attention and praise from every corner of the world, giving a lay of hope in otherwise increasingly complicated and distressing international scene. It was quite appropriate and symbolic that Yerevan, which celebrated its 2800th anniversary this year, provided the necessary stage for that, confirming the quintessential nature of Armenian nation which is at the same time “ancient” and “ultra-modern”.
Japan is also facing a grand transition in 2019. With the abdication of His Majesty the Emperor at the end of April, “Heisei” era will close its 30 years’ history. The enthronement of the Crown Prince will bring the whole country into a totally new era with a fresh name of its own. It is truly opportune that Japan will host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo in 2020 and the World Exhibition in Osaka in 2025. Through these and other new milestones Japan will further contribute to the peace and development of the entire humankind.
Armenia and Japan are in many senses very unique “twins” in the whole world.
As such, it is hoped that many cities from both sides will conclude sister-city relationships from now, but in fact we might well consider ourselves as “sister-countries” or “sister-nations” indeed. I sincerely hope that the two countries will ever deepen our friendship and close cooperation, thereby embodying certain universal values and directions which could be relevant in a much wider global context, quite beyond merely bilateral dimension.
Let me wish that the year 2019 will prove to be a genuinely memorable, rewarding one for everybody. I sincerely look forward to continuous guidance and friendly advices from you all.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Armenia