Ambassador Hayashi visits South Wales



On Thursday 26 April, Ambassador Hayashi paid his first official visit to South Wales since taking up his appointment and fulfilled a full day of engagements. His visit happily coincided with the start of H.M. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Tour of the United Kingdom to South Wales and, whilst the Queen attended a national thanksgiving service at Llandaff Cathedral, the Ambassador was visiting the industrial plant of Panasonic Manufacturing UK in Cardiff. This was followed by a business meeting in Cardiff with representatives of the Wales Japan Club, during which the Ambassador was able to discuss the experiences of those companies located in Wales, including the challenges with which they were confronted as well as the advantages of their location.

During the afternoon, the Ambassador, accompanied by the Honorary Consul of Japan at Cardiff (Mr Hugh Thomas), was received by The First Minister of the Welsh Government (The Rt. Hon. Carwyn Jones, AM), when a very positive dialogue and exchange of views took place. The similarities in the two countries' national cultures were highlighted, and a firm commitment to build further on the very special relationship between Japan and Wales was re-affirmed. The Ambassador thanked the Welsh Government for its support to the Japanese companies operating in Wales and expressed his hope for the continuity of further support, to which the First Minister responded positively.

The Ambassador then visited Cardiff University, where he was received by The Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor Terry Threadgold. She hosted an informal Reception attended by the Director and Staff of the Japanese Studies Centre (located within The Business School of the University) together with representatives of other faculties who have links with higher education institutions in Japan.

Afterwards the Ambassador delivered a wide-ranging lecture in The Wallace Lecture Theatre entitled “Japan Post-Tsunami: One Year On” (click for link to the full speech), following which he answered a range of questions put to him by the audience, many of whom were University students.

At the conclusion of the visit, Hugh Thomas said: “The Ambassador’s visit was very important to the ongoing relationship between our two countries. Wales readily recognizes the important part which Japan has played over many years in the regeneration of the Welsh economy. Recently, Wales expressed its appreciation by playing its part in supporting Japan after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Wales looks forward to welcoming the Ambassador again in the future."

First Minister of Wales with the Ambassador

Ambassador with the Pro Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University

Embassy of Japan