Interview H.E. Mr Masaru Tsuji

In perspective of the three-day visit (29-31 October 2014) of King Willem- Alexander and Queen Máxima to Japan, Mr Masaru Tsuji, the Japanese Ambassador to The Netherlands, gives his vision about the special relationship between both countries.

1). Why is the relationship between The Netherlands and Japan so important?

The friendly relationship between the Netherlands and Japan goes back over 400 years. Besides the good ties between the governments, we also rejoice in the cordial relationship between the Dutch royal family and our imperial family. We also enjoy a very vibrant relationship through cultural and academic exchanges with the Netherlands. In political respect we are on very good standing as we share the same basic values such as democracy and rule of law. In recent decades especially economic interaction has intensified. During the recent state visit by His Majesty King Willem Alexander and her Majesty Queen Máxima, one of the main focuses of the program was a series of business related activities. For this purpose, Their Majesties the King and Queen were accompanied by a large economic delegation led by Minister of Economic Affairs Mr. Kamp. The success of this economic delegation proves the aspirations of both countries for the furthering of the economic relationship.

2).  What are the differences in doing business between Japan and The Netherlands?

Basically there are no significant differences in doing business between our two countries, as we base doing business on the same principles such as that of a free market, the protection of intellectual property and the development of a very sound judicial system. All of these things are essential for a modern commercial environment. Of course, there are also some notable differences in certain areas, such as doing business in agriculture. The Netherlands is the second largest exporter of agricultural products in the world. Especially horticulture takes place in a highly computerized manner in the greenhouses, which, together with the entrepreneurship of the farmers, present some promising models for Japan, since we would like our agricultural sector to be more export-oriented.

3).  How did you experience the state visit and what struck you as most unique?

We are very pleased that Their Majesties King Willem Alexander and Queen Máxima have chosen Japan as the destination for their first state visit outside Europe. It symbolizes the very friendly and close relationship between our two countries, and as I mentioned early, it testifies to the cordial relationship between our imperial family and the Dutch royal family. I was very much impressed by the remarks of both His Majesty the Emperor and His Majesty the King at the occasion of the state banquet on the overall bond between our countries. Their words stressed the solid base of our relationship, the existing sincere cooperation in overcoming challenges between us and the wish to further evolve our partnership. As I said, this state visit had a clear focus on efforts to further strengthen the ever evolving relations such as the economic ties between us. I am very happy that this new style of state visit opened the way for moving our already long-lasting friendly relationship to the next stage of cooperation.

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