Japan’s new ambassador, Kaoru Ishikawa, made an official visit to Québec City on March 15. After the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan and its population, Québec’s Premier, Jean Charest, and its Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, Monique Gagnon-Tremblay, wanted to express the sympathy of Quebecers to the Japanese people.
<div id="agrandir" style="cursor:hand;" class="footer" onclick="popup.open('http://www.mri.gouv.qc.ca/PDF/actualites/8841G.jpg')">Click to enlarge</div> <span style="font-size:0.7em;color:grey;">From left to right: The Consul General of Japan, Hiroaki Isobe, the Japanese Ambassador, Kaoru Ishikawa, Premier Charest and Minister Gagnon-Tremblay at a press conference concerning the situation in Japan.
Mr. Ishikawa was introduced to the National Assembly, where a motion of solidarity for the Japanese people was adopted. The ambassador expressed his gratitude for the warm reception given to him by the Québec government and was moved by the adoption of this motion.
The Premier stressed Japan’s importance as a partner and friend of Québec, pointing out that Québec set up its office there almost 40 years ago. He stated that Québec is ready to answer the call, especially through the Red Cross and Emergency Response Teams (ERT), which have medical teams specifically trained for these types of disasters. A crisis response cell was also set up at the Ministère des Relations Internationales in order to monitor developments in the situation more closely. Mr. Charest also took the opportunity to officially introduce Québec’s new Delegate General in Tokyo, Claude-Yves Charron, who began his duties on April 4.
Finally, the Premier invited the Ambassador to come back soon to Québec City to discuss bilateral projects. Japan is a priority partner of Québec in several sectors.
During his visit, in addition to the Premier and Minister Gagnon-Tremblay, the Ambassador met with Pierre Corbeil, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. He also gave a speech before the Montréal Council on Foreign Relations at a luncheon entitled "Towards a Japan-Canada Free Trade Agreement?"
Québec Government Office in Tokyo