Focus on Japan - Canada Japan Relations
89 years ago, in January of 1928, Canada and Japan formalized diplomatic relations with the opening of the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo. This stands as Canada's oldest mission in Asia, third outside the Commonwealth following Washington and Paris. 7 months later, in July, Japan reciprocated by opening their embassy in Ottawa. Today, there are few countries that share closer bonds than Canada and Japan. Of course, one would be mistaken to say that things have always been good between us, with nothing short of war breaking the friendship for a number of years. But this is history. Indeed a dark and not insignificant chunk of history, but nonetheless history. Since then our relationship has grown strong economically, socially and politically. The Japanese Embassy in Canada sites just over 10,000 Canadian Expats currently in living in Japan (December 2016). These individuals are operating businesses (Canadian Coffee Shop), are bloggers (Vloggers), artists, educators, individuals working to grow Canadian corporate investment in Japan, while others are working for Japanese firms assisting those organizations to grow their ties with Canada and the rest of the world. The value of the trade between Canada and Japan had grown to almost $27 billion in bilateral trade in 2016.
The Canadian Expat had an opportunity to connect with the Japanese embassy in Ottawa and they mentioned that they “believe that there remains a huge potential for further expansion of our bilateral relationship in trade and investment.” They further pointed out that the total amount of Japan-Canada bilateral trade value reached its peak in 2008. Further increases in two-way investment can be expected.” When asked where they see future growth, they mention “We hope to further deepen the bilateral relation in various areas such as trade, investment and people-to-people exchanges.”
The Canadian and Japanese governments have been working closely do develop these economic ties. The leaders of both countries agreed to further advance our long-standing bilateral relations and to create a new era of cooperation between Japan and Canada, and they also agreed to revitalize the Japan-Canada Joint Economic Committee (JEC) established in 1976. The renewed JEC meeting was held last October, and the two countries discussed broad topics in 5 main areas, namely, infrastructure, energy, science and technology cooperation, improving the business environment and promoting investment, and tourism and youth exchanges.
Continuing through the month of June, The Canadian Expat will be running a series of articles focusing on the Canadian Expats that are working to further strengthen the ties between Canada and Japan. We are delighted that the Japanese Embassy in Canada along with the Canadian Embassy in Japan and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce have contributed to this series.
Global Affairs Canada publishes a library of information regarding trade in Japan for anyone interested in exploring options: