Title: Ambassador’s statement on the occasion of the birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan

2021/2/19

Ambassador’s statement on the occasion of the birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan

Every year at our Residence, a reception for the occasion of the birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan is held. 

I would however, regret to inform you that I cancelled the reception this year in accordance with the Norwegian authorities’ measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infections.

Given such extraordinary circumstances, I am therefore not able to welcome you to our Residence. However, I would be grateful if I could, together with you, celebrate the 61st birthday of His Majesty the Emperor on 23rd February, and the 84th birthday of His Majesty the King on 21st February.

Japan and Norway are both maritime nations and partners sharing fundamental values including freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Both countries have also, for a long time, cooperated with each other in fields such as sustainable development, Arctic issues, science and technology, fisheries, climate change and marine environment.

Among this, Japan will promote further cooperation between Japan and Norway – which has become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council – in addressing international challenges including the abductions, nuclear and missile issues of North Korea.

On the issue of climate change, Japan has set a goal that its society will be carbon-neutral by 2050, as Prime Minister Suga stated in his policy speech at the Diet last year.  In order to achieve this goal, I wish to deepen cooperation with both Norwegian public and private sectors, which have as high ambition as Japan, and to promote further cooperation between Japanese and Norwegian companies for the development of advanced technology in this field. 

In our fight against COVID-19, Japan is committed to strengthening its international cooperation together with Norway, co-chair of the ACT Accelerator Facilitation Council. Japan has contributed a total of $200 million to the international framework for vaccine procurement, and has been actively assisting the strengthening of the health systems of developing countries with the concept of ​​human security.

The Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic will be held this summer.  The Government of Japan will continue to take thorough measures against COVID-19 and work closely with the IOC, the Organizing Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and related associations in order to realize a safe and secure Olympic and Paralympic Games. Your generous understanding and assistance is very much appreciated.

When the current spread of COVID-19 has relented so that we can again meet up without fear of infection, I will further strengthen the friendship between Japan and Norway by actively holding events for the promotion of people-to-people exchanges and an introduction to Japanese culture for all here in Norway. I look forward to seeing you again face to face as soon as possible.
 
Last but not least, I extend, from the very bottom of my heart, my very best wishes for your continued health and happiness.
 
 
Best regards,

KAWAMURA Hiroshi 
Ambassador of Japan