Japan's heartfelt thank you to the Luxembourg people
Luxembourg's efforts to boost global business confidence in Japan following last year's devastating earthquake were acknowledged at a meet and greet event on Monday.
Despite false rumours suggesting that Tokyo had been contaminated by radiation, both foreign minister Jean Asselborn and then later hereditary crown Prince Guillaume visited the stricken country, strengthening confidence.
“You cannot imagine how these visits encouraged the people of Japan,” said Japanese ambassador to Luxembourg Takashi Suetsuna, adding: “We've received a lot of messages of condolence and donations from many individuals and companies and associations in Luxembourg. On behalf of the Japanese people I would like to reiterate our sincere gratitude for the sympathy and tremendous support offered by the international community in particular by the people and Luxembourg government.”
The event, dubbed Luxembourg meets Japan, was organised by travel firm Voyages Emile Weber. Held at the Philharmonie, keynote speaker Luxembourg Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich was forced to cancel his presentation due to illness. The Catholic figurehead in Luxembourg was a perfect candidate to discuss links between the two countries, having lived and taught at a university in Tokyo for the last 20 years.
Director General of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce Pierre Gramegna, who worked for six years in Japan as Luxembourg Ambassador, gave an entertaining insight into the differences and similarities of the two cultures. He acknowledged the dignity, determination and discipline shown following the earthquake, essential qualities which he says Luxembourg shares in striving to be a competitive business nation.
During the evening, the Japanese ambassador outlined the steps Japan has already made towards economic recovery, providing tax breaks for new businesses settling in certain regions. He urged guests to invest as a business or simply visit as a tourist. “Our country welcomes investment by foreign enterprises and visits to Japan by foreign tourists as partners for open reconstruction,” he said.
The subject of Japanese and Luxembourg relations was a topical one given that sustainability minister Claude Wiseler is to meet Masanori Tanimoto, governor of the Japanese province of Ishikawa, with a delegation including ambassador Takashi Suetsana, on Thursday. Discussions will look at the activities of Cargolux with the Komatsu airport and its impact on the Ishikawa province.