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Speech made by Ambassador Orita on the occasion of a reception to send off the new British Ambassador to Japan

On 12 July 2004, the Embassy, Japan Society, JCCI and Nippon Club co-hosted a reception to send off the new British Ambassador to Japan Graham Fry and his wife Toyoko.
13 Jul 2004

Ambassador Fry and Ambassador Orita
Ambassador Fry and Ambassador Orita

Mr Graham Fry, Mrs Toyoko Fry, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I welcome you all to the Embassy.

This party is a send-off party for HE Mr Graham Fry, new British Ambassador to Japan and Mrs Toyoko Fry. They are about to depart for Japan in a few days. This party is jointly organised by the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in London, the Nippon Club and the Japan Society and I want to thank all the organisers for their efforts in making this party possible.

First of all, on behalf of all here, I'd like to congratulate our friends Graham and Toyoko on the new appointment of Graham as the British Ambassador to Japan. We are delighted that they will represent the UK in Japan. They know Japan very well and they have many friends in Japan. They are friends of Japan. The Japanese people will give a hugely warm welcome to you both.

Despite difficulties and uncertainties of the world, it is no exaggeration to say that, the relationship between Japan and the UK has never been better than now. We are co-operating with each other in many fields in international politics, United Nations, defence and military area, economic and business area, science and technology, education, culture and others. This bilateral relationship is mutually beneficial but not only that this important relationship is also contributing to the good causes of the world.

The timing of this appointment is very good. The Japanese economy is recovering and it seems to be in the best shape for many years. Japanese people are much more confident about themselves. There are a lot of good reasons for us to go further to improve our relations. I hope very much that the new ambassador, in co-operation with the Japanese side will further promote this important relationship and raise this relationship one stage further.

There are many things I hope the new British Ambassador to Japan to promote. As you know, the Japanese government is running the ��Ϫnvest Japan' campaign and ��Ϸisit Japan Campaign'. My suggestion is to make these campaigns joint operations of the two countries. Why don't we combine ��Ϫnvest Japan' campaign and ��Ϸisit Japan Campaign' with ��Ϸisit UK campaign and ��Ϫnvest UK campaign'? We can promote our relationship in both ways more efficiently. Please think about this possibility.

On another occasion, I especially listed two important things which I want him to promote in Japan. One is to bring Sumo tournaments back again to the UK after more than 15 years. British people will be very happy to see Sumo wrestlers here again. Another one may be much more difficult. To promote the very British game of cricket among the Japanese. It may be a daunting task. But the UK has an example of good success in promoting soccer after Japan introduced it about 130 years ago. Please try!

And more than anything else, I hope very much that both of you enjoy Japan and Japanese people in all different parts of Japan, including my area Kagoshima or Satsuma and tell your experience to the British people. I am sure that you will be a very good Ambassador and Ambassadress in Japan. I wish you both every success.

L-R: Ambassador Fry, Lady Whitehead, Mrs Fry, Madame Orita, Ambassador Orita and Sir John Whitehead
L-R: Ambassador Fry, Lady Whitehead, Mrs Fry, Madame Orita, Ambassador Orita and
Sir John Whitehead (Co-Chairman of the Japan Society)





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