Select Committee on Welsh Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Letter from the Embassy of Japan

  Thank you for your letter dated 1 December, inquiring about the reasons why the Government of Japan has not yet established a diplomatic post in Wales.

  Recognising that devolution is a key constitutional and political development in the United Kingdom, we have been following the devolution process with keen interest. Japan values its political, business and cultural relationship with Wales and we recognise the unique contribution Wales has made to the United Kingdom and the world. This is why the Embassy dispatches its staff from time to time to Cardiff to monitor ongoing events there. I myself have visited Wales on many occasions, and was present at the opening of the National Assembly for Wales by Her Majesty The Queen in May last year. We remain in touch with developments in Wales.

  Generally speaking, in considering the establishment of a Consulate or a representative office in a certain region, we normally take into account many factors including:

    —  the size of the Japanese community in the region;

    —  the number of Japanese tourists;

    —  the actual number of cases of protection of Japanese nationals in the region which a consulate would be involved in; and

    —  the distance from the Embassy to the region.

  Furthermore, we need to consider on a global basis which overseas office should be given priority because we have limited budgetary resources for the establishment of new overseas offices due to the recent administrative and financial reforms in Japan. In view of the fact that there are still a number of countries and regions where the Japanese Government has no representation, it will take some time before we come to a conclusion on this matter.

  I will certainly report to Tokyo that the Select Committee has expressed its interest in diplomatic activities in Cardiff and inquired about the possibility of establishing an office there. I will inform you if there are any new developments.

Sadayuki Hayashi


15 December 2000

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