Embassy of Finland in Tokyo
Ambassador Jukka Siukosaari attended the Ceremony of the Presentation of Credentials as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Finland to Japan on September 20. Even the drizzling rain did not dampen the festive occasion, as 6 diplomats accompanied the Ambassador to the Imperial Palace in elegant burgundy horse carriages with golden wheels. ”The ceremony was absolutely beautiful, riding to the Palace in a horse carriage built more than 100 years ago just for Ambassadors,” said Ambassador Siukosaari. ”The Palace itself, with its simplicity and humbleness, left a strong impression on me.”
Japan’s long tradition and immense history have been sources of admiration for Ambassador Siukosaari. ”Japan has always been my dream destination,” he says, now setting foot as a diplomat on his 4th continent and 6th country at the age of 50. His previous post was in South America, as Ambassador of Finland to Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. Japan is his first Asian country, and he eagerly welcomes the new change.
Ambassador Siukosaari has firm grounds to start on, with the image of Finland exceptionally good in Japan. The impressions the Japanese have of Finland and the Finns- be it the Moomins, design, education, start-up culture, childcare services- all are positive. ”I would like to use this positive image to expand new areas, to increase new business contacts and promote investment and trade in both ways, and not just one-way,” he says. Businesses he has in mind are as tourism, food industry and Arctic cooperation, as Finland prepares to be the Chairman of the Arctic Council in 2017. These conform to the joint statement of strategic partnership issued by President Niinistö and Prime Minister Abe this March, which referred to closer cooperation in the areas of the economy, science and technology. Mutual co-operation will be important as Finland and Japan together approach the upcoming 100th Anniversary of diplomatic relationship in 2019.