The Japanese ambassador in Spain, Satoru Satoh./ Picture: New Economy Forum
Julio García. Madrid.
The first relations between Spain and Japan were established 400 years ago when Embassy Keicho was sent to Europe (Spain and Rome) and for this reason during 2013 and 2014 the Dual Year has been developed to commemorate this event. More diplomatic relations were established 150 years ago and, at the moment, the Japanese Government wants to go deeper in them from a business point of view.
The ambassador of Japan in Spain, Satoru Satoh, highlighted, during a breakfast organized by the New Economy Forum, the high Spanish participation in the activities organized for this 400 anniversary, and the importance of the fact that the Royal Households of both countries are involved in their development.
The Japanese diplomat said that the development and the Welfare State of Spain “have been possible in the reign of Juan Carlos I” that has also created productive business and commercial relations between both countries. At the moment, both countries have business unions in the sectors of infrastructures, information technologies, banking and insurances.
For all this, and after working for three years as ambassador in Spain, Satoh, who will leave his position this summer, announced that Japan wants to be the entrance door for the Spanish companies in Asia. In this commercial and business alliance between both countries, Spain’s role will be contributing to a better Japanese incursion in Latin America, for which the Spanish language is a fundamental chance, according to Satoh. “Spain is a very good base and embassy for the Japanese businesspeople in Latin America”, he stated.
Tourism, on the other hand, has also contributed to strengthening the relations between Spain and Japan, according to the Japanese diplomat, who calculated the number of Japanese people that visited our country last year at 340,000, compared to the 40,000 Spanish people that travelled to their country.
Satoh trusts in China’s responsibility in the conflict for the Senkaku Islands
In relation to the conflict between China and Japan because of the Senkaku Islands, Satoh expressed his trust in the “responsibility” of the Chinese Government, to whom he reminded that the president of the USA, Barack Obama, has recently announced that he will respond with military resources if there is a Chinese incursion in those Islands.
Besides, the diplomat provided business arguments for China not to move in that direction and he has reminded that in that country there are more than 20,000 Japanese companies, which provide jobs for more than 10 million Chinese people. A possible attack would mean the massive removal of those companies. He assured that Japan is willing to keep negotiating and he added: “I believe that China can play a constructive role in the region”.
A big smile and “I do not want to take a risk, but I have to answer” was the answer of Satoh when being asked about the independence process of Catalonia. Right after, he made an official reference to the traditional legend of a samurai who throw three arrows at the same time because they would be stronger that way.
“Catalonia’s future is an issue that the Spanish people have to discuss within the framework of the Constitution”, said Satoh from his responsibility as ambassador, and he concluded “that a united Spain would be stronger”, just like the Samurai’s arrows.