A year and 5 months have passed since my arrival here as Ambassador of Japan. Thanks to the warmth shown by Bruneians towards Japan, I have found myself making many new friends here. From this fortunate base, I would like to make an effort to expand Japan’s relationship with Brunei Darussalam more broadly.
On the 3rd of December, we held a significant event to mark the His Majesty the Emperor of Japan’s 85th birthday. In my speech, I explained that His Majesty the Emperor and Her Majesty the Empress would abdicate on the 30th of April, 2019 and His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince and Her Imperial Highness the Crown Princess would succeed to the throne as the new Emperor and Empress on the 1st of May, 2019. In addition, I also mentioned the long and deep relationship between the Imperial House of Japan and the Royal Family of Brunei. At the celebration, there was a Judo demonstration by Brunei Darussalam National Judo Federation, and a Soran bushi dance by UTB students. Additionally, Japanese companies set up booths to show their involvement in business in Brunei. Many attendees visited the booths and explored possible business opportunities. I have the impression that there is an increasing interest from Japanese companies in Brunei.
As the Embassy of Japan in Brunei Darussalam, we actively conducted youth cultural exchange projects. Through the “JENESYS” programme, young Bruneians visited Japan and experienced sport exchanges, playing rugby and badminton. In addition, there were exchanges under the categories of ‘movies’ and ‘peacekeeping’. From Japan, junior high school and high school students from Wakayama and Shizuoka prefecture visited Brunei and learned Bruneian history and culture through homestays. This year, the Japanese government project Ship for South East Asian and Japanese Youth Programme, SSEAYP, celebrated its 45th year and the ship Nippon-maru stopped in Brunei. The young participants from south-east Asian countries were given a very warm welcome. Four years have passed since the ship last called here, so I felt honoured to be here to share the experience. The leaders of the programme were privileged to be granted an audience with His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah during their stay.
Regarding education, we held a Japanese foreign minister’s commendation award ceremony for Datin Dr Anita, Vice Chancellor, UBD, who has worked hard to support Japanese language education and exchange programmes with Kagawa university, and for Dr Chin Wei Keh, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and the former president of BAJA, who has made notable contributions to the promotion of mutual understanding between Japan and Brunei Darussalam.
Additionally, in September this year, there was an announcement that Royal Brunei Airlines would launch direct flights between Bandar Seri Begawan and Narita International Airport from March 2019, flying three times a week. This is a great opportunity for tourism and business for both countries and as the Embassy of Japan in Brunei Darussalam, it is our sincere desire to continue the development of our important bilateral relationship.
Message from our Ambassador
December 14, 2018