Japanese | English

Greeting from the Consul-General

Japanese | English

In front of the newly upgraded Flinders St Station, 1 January 2018.*

Happy New Year.

I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to everyone for your support of the Consulate-General of Japan in Melbourne last year. I hope that this year will be a splendid one for you all.

Starting with Prime Minister Abe’s visit to Australia in January, there were two summit meetings between the Japanese and Australian prime ministers last year. They discussed our nations’ shared strategic and economic interests, further strengthening the special strategic partnership between Japan and Australia.
In the economic sphere, 2017 was the 60th anniversary of the Australia-Japan Agreement on Commerce – but substantial structural change in our economic relationship could be seen in such events as a Japanese airline introducing direct Melbourne-Tokyo flights, and a Japanese automobile manufacturer withdrawing from Australia.

This year marks the 40th year of the Melbourne-Osaka sister city relationship, the 25th year of the South Australia-Okayama sister state relationship, and other milestones in regional level exchange. There is also the happy news that Kumamon, the famous bear mascot of Kumamoto Prefecture, will visit the Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival on 25 February for some mascot-based Japan-Australia cultural exchange. In every field, from this sort of grassroots-level international exchange to academic exchange to promoting Japanese culture and supporting Japanese businesses in Australia, we at the Consulate will continue to work hard to strengthen the ties between our two countries.

I wish you the best of health and happiness throughout the coming year.

Kazuyoshi Matsunaga
Consul-General of Japan in Melbourne
January 2018

*A long exposure was used to avoid photographing pedestrians.