Celebratory Message by H.E Mr. NASHIDA Kazuya, Ambassador of Japan to Thailand, on the occasion of His Majesty the Emperor’s Birthday

        Today, on 23rd February, I would like to deliver a congratulatory message to mark His Majesty the Emperor’s 62nd birthday. It is most unfortunate that, due to the COID-19 pandemic, I am again unable to host a reception to celebrate His Majesty the Emperor’s Birthday this year, as last year. However, I am glad to offer some celebratory remarks through the pages of this newspaper.
        In his New Year's message recorded on video, His Majesty expressed his sincere wish that 2022 would be a year when the Japanese people could create for themselves a bright future and realize a dream for peace and happiness, both in Japan and throughout the world. He also spoke of his sadness at the negative impacts that Covid-19 was causing in Japan and the rest of the world.
        This year marks the 135th anniversary of the relations between Japan and Thailand.  Over the years, our countries have built up a very firm friendship thanks to the strong ties between the Japanese imperial family and Thai royal family, dynamic bilateral trade and investment activities, and various social, cultural and educational exchanges. During this auspicious commemorative year, I believe that we can make a fresh progress toward a bright future as we overcome this COVID-19 crisis together.
        The Japanese population in Thailand is approximately 100,000 while the number of the Japanese companies has reached 6,000 which are actively contributing to economic and social development in Thailand through the export of quality products, expansion of employment opportunities, human resource development, and more. In Thailand, the vaccination program has been underway since last year and the booster program has also been in full swing since the beginning of this year. I would like to convey my gratitude to Thai government for supporting Japanese people in Thailand, enabling them to live safely and engage in their business activities without serious concerns.
        Unfortunately, the two-way flow of people between Thailand and Japan has been severely limited for these past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, I have great hopes that the efforts now being made by our countries will allow smooth travel in both directions to resume in the not too distant future.
        Thailand is the APEC host this year, under the theme “Open, Connect and Balance”.  Japan will give its support by sharing Japanese technology and knowledge for BCG economy, a key part of APEC’s agenda. Furthermore, Japan is anxious to accelerate cooperation to promote the peace and prosperity of the entire Mekong areas and a Free and Open Indo-Pacific.
        Let me conclude by offering my heartfelt prayers and wishes for His Majesty’s good health, and the prosperity of the Imperial Court, as well as the further development of the Japan-Thailand relationship.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Thailand