The past three-and-a-half years have flown by and later this month the time has come for me to return to Japan.
During my posting in the Netherlands I visited as many places as I could, made the acquaintance of various people and strived to further strengthen the ties between Japan and the Netherlands in various fields. I am very grateful for everyone’s kind consideration and cooperation, and, most importantly, everyone’s friendship while performing my duties as Ambassador of Japan to the Netherlands.
Now, when the time has finally come, I cannot help but wonder about what more I could have done. On the other hand, I am leaving with a certain feeling of accomplishment and a sense of fulfillment.
The Dutch Royal Family and the Japanese Imperial Family have a close relationship and our countries are enjoying more than four hundred years of friendly ties, sharing important basic values in the various fields; politics, economy, culture and more. If I was able to contribute to deepening these ties in any way I would be most pleased.
Top level dialogues between our countries have been held on various occasions, such as the visit of Prime Minister Abe to the Netherlands in January earlier this year, and concrete cooperative projects are progressing steadily.
My Dutch friends have taught me a lot and I have learned a great deal over the past three-and-a-half years. I also experienced, however, that there is still room to improve our cooperation in a wide range of fields.
During my tenure there were incidents where a Japanese national was stabbed to death, but I am relieved to be able to say that no other major calamities occurred. I can feel that the Netherlands is a safe and relatively stable environment but various crimes, terrorism included, are occurring all over the world and I realize once again that each person should pay close attention to ensure his or her own safety.
Around mid-September, the current Ambassador of Japan to Cambodia, Hidehisa Horinouchi, will arrive in the Netherlands as my successor. I would be immensely grateful if you could show Ambassador Horinouchi the same kindness, cooperation and support that you have given me over the years.
Thankful for everyone’s friendship, I wish you all the best.
Ambassador of Japan to the Netherlands