Arrival Greetings

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary,
Mission of Japan to the European Union
Kazutoshi Aikawa

I have just arrived in Brussels as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Mission of Japan to the European Union. I will do my utmost to strengthen relations between Japan and the EU, which are becoming increasingly important.
I have previously served in Iran, Washington DC, New York (UN) and Malaysia, but this is the first time I have been posted to Europe. Brussels is said to be the capital of Europe with a high concentration of EU-related organisations, the NATO headquarters, and the headquarters of many European companies. I feel that Brussels is a place that symbolises European values in the sense that it is a richly diverse society where not only EU countries, but also people of various nationalities and races live together. I look forward to learning more about Europe's long history and traditions through various opportunities in the future.
In recent years, the international community has faced serious crises: the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began in February 2022, shows no signs of abating. The situation in Israel and Palestine, which began with the terrorist attack by Hamas and others on 7 October 2023, is growing more tense day by day, casting a dark shadow over the entire world, including Europe.
Under these circumstances, close cooperation with the EU, a partner with which Japan shares fundamental values, is indispensable, and the Mission of Japan to the European Union is committed to working as one for the further development of EU-Japan relations.
I look forward to your continued support and cooperation.