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From the Ambassador of Japan

H.E. Yasumasa Nagamine, Ambassador of Japan

By H.E. Yasumasa Nagamine, Ambassador of Japan.

I should like to congratulate on the launch of the new magazine, Diplomat Magazine, in The Hague specializing in diplomacy and diplomats.

I have been asked to write an article about activities of Asian Ambassadors in The Hague, since I have been serving as an Asian coordinator Ambassador for the Dean of the Diplomatic Corp. Although I have still only limited experience in the role, I should like to touch upon its activities.

There are more than 100 Embassies located in The Hague, a large number in deed. There is the Dean of the Diplomatic Corp, H.E. Ambassador Arguello Gomez of Nicaragua. All Embassies and Ambassadors are indebted to his leadership and services. At the same time, other Ambassadors are in a position to assist the Dean in his duties. Therefore a system of regional coordinators has been established and each region is supposed to nominate a coordinator ambassador for this purpose. For Asian region, a regional coordinator has been established rather recently. Currently I am functioning as such, hence I am writing this article on behalf of the region.

Asian Ambassadors are meeting more often, however, in different contexts. There are many informal and volunteer gatherings where Asian Ambassadors have lunch together or hold meetings for discuss on various issues. There are also regional meetings in the context of International Organizations located in The Hague, such as the International Criminal Court (the ICC) or the Chemical Weapons Organization (the OPCW). Here the coordinating activities are frequent and substantive. Through these meetings and contacts, Asian Ambassadors are constantly working together and forming friendly relations quickly.

Talking about the diplomacy in The Hague more in general, I observe that Ambassadors’ work here is more or less equally divided into bilateral and multilateral diplomacies, depending on with which International Organizations a country associates itself. On the one hand, as our host nation, the Netherlands, is very active in its external activities, therefore bilateral diplomacy is dynamic and requires large portion of Embassy’s resources and Ambassador’s attention. On the other hand, Ambassadors are sitting in many meetings of, for example, the OPCW or Assembly of State Parties of the ICC. Ambassadors in general are certainly required to have proficient knowledge on many different subject matters, but especially here in The Hague, they must be experts on international justice including criminal justice or weapons of mass destruction (i.e. chemical weapons). These give a unique character for the diplomacy here which is a source of interest for many Ambassadors and of challenges for every Ambassador.

For a Japanese Ambassador serving in The Hague is a privilege and delight. Japan and the Netherlands enjoy a significant history of mutual contacts for more than 400 years. We have strong and time-honored economic ties. The friendly relations between Japan’s Imperial Family and the Royal Family of the Netherlands are a symbol of our closeness. We are two mature democracies faced with many common challenges, such as revitalizing the economy, securing safe navigation, coping with aging society, and stimulating science and technology. Therefore our two countries work together in many fronts, which give a Japanese Ambassador extra mission to fulfill.

At the same time, Japan has been active in the activities related to the rule of law, international criminal justice and disarmament issues. Again multilateral diplomacy requires Japanese Ambassador here to do commensurate work to be fulfilled.

I truly believe The Hague is one of the most exciting centres of diplomatic activities in Europe in which I enjoy to work cooperatively with fellow Ambassadors from the Asian region and beyond.

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DIPLOMAT MAGAZINE “For diplomats, by diplomats” Reaching out the world from the European Union First diplomatic publication based in The Netherlands Founded by members of the diplomatic corps on June 19th, 2013. Diplomat Magazine is inspiring diplomats, civil servants and academics to contribute to a free flow of ideas through an extremely rich diplomatic life, full of exclusive events and cultural exchanges, as well as by exposing profound ideas and political debates in our printed and online editions.

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