Ambassador Shimokawa Makita

I extend my heartfelt wishes to all of you for a wonderful year and my best regards for the year 2024.

The year 2023 witnessed a rise in international tensions, marked by the ongoing military conflict in Ukraine and an unprecedented escalation of the Israel-Palestine situation. These challenges add to the existing complexities faced by the international community. In this context, as the President of the G7 and a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, Japan actively addressed various diplomatic challenges.

We once again recognized the importance of unity among G7 countries and the strength of the Franco-Japanese relationship. In this regard, Prime Minister Kishida visited France in January, President Macron visited Japan in May, and during a December telephone conference between the two leaders, a roadmap for Franco-Japanese cooperation was unveiled. Observing the extent of cooperation between Japan and France across various domains, including the economy and culture, I have personally been impressed by the breadth and depth of our relations.

In 2024, Paris will host the Olympic and Paralympic Games for the first time in 100 years. Seizing this opportunity, the entire Embassy will continue to work collaboratively on the three missions I outlined upon assuming office: (1) further strengthening the exceptional partnership between France and Japan; (2) enhancing cooperation with France in numerous areas, including the economy, culture, and sports, while promoting Japan’s attractiveness; (3) ensuring the safety and security of Japanese nationals in France.

We hope to have your cooperation, understanding, and guidance in these endeavors.

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