《TAIPEI TIMES》New Japan diplomat aims to travel Taiwan
Kazuyuki Katayama, chief representative of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association’s Taipei Office, is pictured in a video released by the association yesterday. Photo: Screen grab from the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association’s Facebook page
Staff writer, with CNA
Japan’s new de facto ambassador to Taiwan said that one of the main objectives during his tenure would be to travel around Taiwan and better understand its diversity.
Kazuyuki Katayama, chief representative of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association’s Taipei Office, made the comment during a 90-second video clip posted to the office’s Facebook page yesterday.
The office represents Tokyo’s interests in Taiwan in the absence of official diplomatic ties.
During the clip, Katayama introduced himself as a 63-year-old Japanese diplomat who loves “every kind of Taiwanese food.”
He said he has visited Taiwan five times, most recently in 2006
Katayama replaced Hiroyasu Izumi, who left in early November after serving for four years in Taipei.
In a greeting message posted online by the office on Friday, Katayama said he has worked in Japan’s foreign ministry for more than 40 years, adding that his most recent post was Japanese ambassador to Peru, after earlier stints in China, the US, Belgium and Malaysia.
“I feel very fortunate and happy to have the opportunity to be able to work in Taiwan, which is one of the most pro-Japan places on Earth and has a close and deep relationship with Japan,” he said.
He also said that his master’s thesis at Harvard was a study of Taiwan’s democratization.
“Although that was more than 35 years ago, I am filled with deep emotion at finding myself assigned to work in Taiwan,” Katayama said.
He said his three main goals are “protecting the safety of Japanese residents and tourists in Taiwan, while promoting the economic activities of Japanese businesses; directly interacting with as many Taiwanese as possible and increasing ‘fans of Japan’; and learning more about the society, culture and people of Taiwan to gain a deeper and broader understanding.”