New Year Greetings by Ambassador Imamura

Happy New Year!
It's my second New Year in Georgia.
Last year, I have met many Georgian people from various fields of the society and was able to convey Japan’s views and exchange opinion in order to strengthen our relations. I also visited many parts of Georgia, from the port city of Batumi on the Black Seacoast to Kakheti in the east. I have met warmhearted local people and could deepen their ties with Japan.
I have also visited the areas near the administrative boundary line with South Ossetia and Abkhazia with special permission, but unfortunately no progress has been made to solve the problem of the occupied territories. There are also concerns about the deterioration of human rights and humanitarian conditions in those regions. Japan will continue supporting Georgia's territorial integrity and peaceful resolution of the problem, and will continue to provide assistance to the internally displaced persons.
Regarding Georgia’s domestic affairs, it was a challenging year for the democratization of Georgia, which shares basic values with Japan, due to harsh confrontation between the ruling and opposition parties. During the Local Elections in October, our Embassy had participated in election monitoring and showed our support for Georgia’s democracy. We hope that this year, constructive dialogue will resume and reforms will progress.
As for the economic issues, we worked to improve the environment for economic relations with Japan looking ahead to the post-pandemic period. Following the entry into force in July of investment agreement and tax treaty signed in January, we had the pleasure of “virtually” inviting to Japan Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, H.E. Ms. NatelaTurnava who had series of on-line meetings with Japanese public and private sector representatives. In November, the business webinar for Japanese companies focusing on renewable energy sector in Georgia was held. Last year, Georgia-Japan Business Association was established here, and as we sense increased interest of Japanese companies towards Georgia, we would like to provide further support for more active business exchanges between the two countries.
We also continued our efforts to support Georgia's economic and social development through Official Development Aid (ODA). Particularly, in order to support Georgia’s efforts to combat COVID-19, Japan handed over medical equipment to Georgia in September last year and assisted in strengthening its healthcare system. In December, the agreement was signed through which JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) and Asian Development Bank will respectively provide Bank of Georgia with 100 million USD in loans, totaling 200 million USD, to support small and medium-sized enterprises in Georgia. In addition, we have implemented a number of projects that directly benefit people especially living in regions in such fields as environmental protection, disaster prevention, agriculture and education. We would like to continue these efforts this year to support the sustainable development of Georgia.
Georgian athletes’ success at the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic games in summer of 2021 is in our fresh memories. Especially in judo, Japanese and Georgian athletes competed for medals. Beyond the Games, we would like to support continued exchange between Georgia and Japanese local towns which had offered to host Georgian athletes as “Host Towns.“ I think there is a great potential for exchange in fields other than sports, too. Last year, I have given lectures at many universities in Georgia, and I cannot forget the smiles, curious faces, and serious eyes of the students I have met. It was a pleasant surprise that there are so many people who wish to learn Japanese language. I would like to strive for deepening the bonds between our peoples in various fields, including the bonds with young people such as these students.
The safety of Japanese citizens, including Japanese residents in Georgia, is one of the priorities of the Embassy. Last year, as the spread of the novel coronavirus infection continued, we have provided them with necessary support including provision of information. This year, we will strive to make the Embassy even closer to Japanese citizens, and will continue to provide information and other support so that everyone can stay safely. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.
This year we celebrate 30th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Georgia. In this commemorative year, various events are planned both in Georgia and Japan. For detailed information please check our website and Facebook. I hope that connections between people in both countries will be further strengthened through these events, and that the foundation of our relationship will be expanded. I look forward to celebrating the 30th anniversary with all of you. I look to your continued support and kind cooperation.
Wish you all healthy and happy 2022!

New Year's greetings by Ambassador Imamura (January, 2021)
Greeting Message by Ambassador Imamura (December, 2020)