Akihiko Nakajima feels that the air of tolerance in the UAE resonates with the Japanese value of Wa, or harmony Image Credit: Supplied

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Akihiko Nakajima, Japan’s Ambassador-designate to the UAE, on the burgeoning ties between the countries as well as why you must travel to Japan this spring

It is a great pleasure to deliver my first message to GN Focus on the occasion of Japan’s National Foundation Day. I arrived in this beautiful country last month, and my experience here has been excellent thus far. I have already been exposed to the generous hospitality of the people.

I must admit that my knowledge of the UAE is fairly limited at the moment, but over the past few weeks I have been impressed by the prevailing air of tolerance in the society, which seems in some way or another to resonate with the Japanese value of Wa, or harmony.

I see that not only the traditional oil business but also many other industries have been rapidly emerging and thriving in the UAE. Naturally, the relationship between the UAE and Japan has dramatically changed over the past few decades. Now I understand the current relations of the two countries has shifted to a different phase. We cooperatively contribute to each other in various areas such as comprehensive areas of economy, culture and sports, defence, education, and science and technology, including space exploration. Now information and communication technology, as represented by internet, has drastically changed the existing framework of economy, society, politics and other areas. We face the common challenge for the future. In that sense, our bilateral relation is not just another one. It will have a global impact.

To conclude, let me briefly touch upon tourism in Japan. From the end of March to the beginning of April, Japan attracts the largest number of tourists in the year from all over the world as cherry blossoms, Sakura, bloom for a short period of time. If you have not witnessed the beautiful flower festival yet, I strongly recommend you visit Japan this spring. If you are lucky enough to have seen the festive moments already, I suggest you go there again. The beauty of Japan derives from the uniqueness it offers every time you visit the country.