Greeting from the Consul-General

2021/1/31

Greeting from the Consul-General

Photo by Saito Ujii Photo by Fiona Cull
My name is SHIMADA Junji. I arrived in Melbourne late January and assumed the post of Consul-General of Japan. Prior to Melbourne, besides working in Japan at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, my previous overseas postings include Washington D.C., Beijing, and Jakarta – you could say that I went around the Pacific Ocean, seeing Japan from the outside. About 40 years ago when I was a young college student, I visited Sydney, which was my first overseas trip. Ever since then, I have been longing to return to Australia so I am truly happy that I am now able to work here.
 
As for Melbourne, this is my very first time here. My initial impression of Melbourne is that it is a wonderful city with abundant greenery and great traditions and culture. I also sense a new kind of future here.
 
I would like to express my deepest sympathies to those who were affected by last year’s bushfires as well as those who have been personally impacted by COVID-19. The COVID-19 crisis is still ongoing, and there are many people who are having a hard time or feeling anxious being separated from their families. We at the Consulate-General of Japan in Melbourne would like to contribute to advancing Japan-Australia exchange and to enhance the relationship, with the thought that no matter how far apart we are, our hearts will always be united.
 
Japan and Australia are special strategic partners. I believe, we are the best friends in Asia, or the best partners in Asia, who share a very close relationship. It is important to not only talk about this but also to proactively work towards strengthening it through our actions.
 
On the economic front, the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) project, a world-first of its kind started in Victoria, will be shortly carried out in a full-scale operation. The liquefied hydrogen produced from the brown coal in the Latrobe Valley will be shipped to Japan by a unique liquefied hydrogen transport tanker made in Japan. I would like to do my best to further contribute to the development of trade and investment between Japan and Australia.
 
Looking to the future, cooperation in the space field, especially with the Australian Space Agency in South Australia, will become more important than ever. The return of the Japanese asteroid explorer Hayabusa2 to South Australia last year was one of the examples which symbolises the magnificent bond between Japan and Australia!
 
Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, I hope to be able to bring as many positive stories to light as possible. I would like to further promote exchange in sister cities, sport, academia, culture etc., by utilising online devices and more.
 
The Consulate-General of Japan in Melbourne has responsibility for the states of Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania and I look forward to visiting all these three states as frequently as possible. If you see me around, please feel free to say hi – I look forward to meeting everyone.
 
SHIMADA Junji
Counsul-General of Japan in Melbourne
January 2021