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Voices of Support for Japan






COVID-19 Update: Business support for all companies in Belgium (31/03)

We would like to raise your awareness for the business support for companies based in the following regions:

**Brussels: Covid-19 FAQ and helpdesk for the Brussels-Capital Region : https://www.1819.brussels or call phone number 1819

**Flanders: Covid-19 measures and business: https://www.flandersinvestmentandtrade.com/invest/en/news/covid-19-measures-limit-business-impact-in-flanders

**Wallonia: https://www.1890.be

今般の新型コロナウイルス流行に伴い、影響を受けるビジネスへの支援措置に関する情報がベルギーの各地域投資促進機関より紹介されていますので、是非ご参照ください。

**ブリュッセル地域 : ブリュッセル首都圏政府貿易投資局(hub brussels): Covid-19 FAQ and helpdesk for the Brussels-Capital Region : https://www.1819.brussels or call phone number 1819

**フランダース地域 : フランダース政府貿易投資局(FIT) : Covid-19 measures and business: https://www.flandersinvestmentandtrade.com/invest/en/news/covid-19-measures-limit-business-impact-in-flanders

**ワロン地域: ワロン地域政府貿易・外国投資振興庁(AWEX): https://www.1890.be



BJA Office update - COVID-19 (30/03)

Dear Members,

We hope our message finds you and your families, colleagues and friends in good health despite the very difficult circumstances.

Following the Federal Government's most recent measures to combat the COVID-19 outbreak, the BJA has set up home office and closed temporarily the door at Avenue Louise. We have turned the AGM on March 23 into a tele-conference event, and currently all our planned physical events are postponed until further notice. We however continue to support the Belgian-Japanese community and conduct business and committee meetings remotely online.

Do not hesitate to contact us. We are here for you!

Please send us your messages, your questions, your suggestions, your stories:
oto-kellens@bja.be
matsumoto@bja.be
durnez@bja.be
We can set up a phone call or a remote live meeting.

We welcome you to join our page Belgium-Japan Association & Chamber of Commerce on LinkedIn as well. Please keep an eye on this, in addition to our www.bja.be .
We will gather in the coming days helpful links from our members concerning the COVID-19 situation on our BJA website.

Last but not least, we would like to invite you to send us your articles for our BJA Trade Flows and Cultural Newsletter, if any. The deadline is April 15. You can also send it earlier, if time allows. The date of publication is end of May.

Please stay safe and take good care of yourself and each other,
The BJA Office


平素は格別のご高配を賜り厚く御礼申し上げます。

新型コロナウイルス感染拡大と,それに伴うベルギー政府の方針に従い,BJA事務局はテレワークに切り替え、当面の間Avenue Louise のBJA事務局オフィスは閉鎖となりますので、何卒ご理解の程,よろしくお願い致します。

3月23日のBJA総会はテレ・コンフェランス形式で行われました。4月以降に予定されているイベントに関しましては、参加者及び関係者の皆様の健康・安全面を第一に考慮し、現時点では延期を予定しております。今後のイベントなどの再開については、随時お知らせしてまいります。何卒、ご理解とご了承賜りますようお願いいたします。

皆様には大変ご迷惑をお掛けいたしますが、BJAでは変わらずベルギー・日本のコミュニティーへのサポートは勿論、ビジネス・委員会会合など情報通信技術を利用し引き続き行ってまいります。

ご質問等ございましたら、BJA事務局フタッフまでメールにて、ご遠慮なくお問い合わせ下さい。
oto-kellens@bja.be
matsumoto@bja.be
durnez@bja.be

皆様のご要望に応じ、テレ・ミーティングも企画可能です。 また、BJAのホームページ(www.bja.be)のみならずLinkedInよりBJAのページもご参照ください。

また、次回6月号のBJA Trade Flows and Cultural Newsのニュースレターに皆様からのニュースを掲載いたします。ご要望がございましたら、oto-kellens@bja.beまでご連絡ください。 原稿の締め切りは4月15日までとなっております。また、6月号の出版は5月末を予定しております。

BJAでは皆様の健康と安全を願っております。

BJA事務局より


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Call for projects - Marilo Fund & 150 Years Fund

Who is it for?
Journalists who work in Belgium and who, thanks to their passion for Japan, will contribute to strenghten the good relationships between the two countries.

What is it about?
The Marilo Fund is a unique initiative that promotes relations between Japan and Belgium. By partnering with the King Baudouin Foundation and the Belgium-Japan Association & Chamber of Commerce, the Marilo Fund has been supporting individuals and projects that contribute positively to the mission of the fund by means of a yearly award.

In addition, the 150 Years Fund is a special initiative of the Celebration Committee of the 150 Years of Friendship between Japan and Belgium. The 150 Years Fund will be specifically allocated to scholarships for journalists who work in Belgium who will contribute to articles and broadcasts on the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics from 2017 to 2020-2021.

For more information and application details:
https://www.kbs-frb.be/en/Activities/Calls/2020/20200326_Marilo_IT
https://www.kbs-frb.be/en/Activities/Calls/2020/2020_150yearsfund_IT



Passing away of HE Ambassador Patrick Nothomb

It is with deep sorrow that we, at the BJA, have been informed of the recent passing of Honorary Ambassador Patrick Nothomb.

Baron Nothomb has been a Belgian ambassador in Japan for many years, as well as a dedicated member of the BJA for many more. He put himself at the service of Belgium-Japan relations with whole his heart. It has always been a pleasure to have him and his wife in our midst, and he will be missed very much.

The BJA presents to the wife of Patrick Nothomb, his children André, Juliette and Amélie and to his grand-children our deepest condolences.



Welcome to our newest company members
新企業会員のご紹介


The Belgium-Japan Association & Chamber of Commerce welcomes Daldewolf, Wunderman Thomson, Makita Europe, Epiq, Nippon Gases
For more information and contact details, please click on more.

この度、Daldewolf, Wunderman Thomson, Makita Europe, Epiq, 並びにKNippon Gasesが新たにBJA企業会員となられましたこと謹んでお礼申し上げます。 詳しい会社概要に関してはこちらの’more…’をクリックしてください。

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Picture of the BJA VIP Luncheon: One year after the EU-Japan EPA: where are we now?

The Pictures of the BJA VIP Luncheon: One year after the EU-Japan EPA: where are we now? are online. You can see the pictures by clicking on "more".

3月3日に開催されました、BJA VIP 昼食会日EU経済連携協定(EPA)発効から一年、現況と今後の展望の写真はこちらのリンクからどうぞ。

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UPDATE ON THE ‘SINGLE PERMIT’ IN BELGIUM

As you are aware, the introduction of the ‘single permit’ in Belgium since the beginning of 2019 has been difficult. Its processing time has become very long, which impacted negatively on the business and HR planning of Japanese companies with activities in Belgium.

On 3 December 2019, the BJA issued a letter to the Federal and Regional authorities and proposed several recommendations to streamline and shorten the process of issuing single permits. The letter was co-signed by Nihonjinkai and JETRO. Furthermore, the BJA has contacted the authorities at both Federal and Regional levels in order to follow up the recommendations in the letter and to improve the situation swiftly.

The BJA is happy to inform you that Mrs Maggie De Block, Federal Minister of Immigration, announced certain reforms yesterday, which reflect the recommendations in the letter and which will positively contribute to the improvement of the processing time of single permits.

The main reforms are:
- 20 additional staff at the Federal level (Ministry of Internal Affairs), which will spread the workload and decrease the processing time;
- Internal streamlining of the process at the Federal level (Ministry of Internal Affairs), which will also decrease the processing time;
- Building a digital platform that will link applicants and their proxy holders with the Regional & Federal authorities; and,
- Allowing to continue employment upon the approval by the Regional authorities without waiting for the approval by the Federal authorities.

The implementation of the first two measures should decrease the processing time to 6 to 8 weeks.

The BJA will further closely follow up this matter and will keep you informed as more information becomes available.

Wim Eynatten, Chair Legal & Tax Committee
&
Masatomo Nomura, Chair Investment Committee

dd. 21 February 2020



BJA & FEB Press Release: EU - Japan Economic Partnership Agreement: first positive evaluation!

The Federation of Enterprises in Belgium (FEB) and the Belgium-Japan Association & Chamber of Commerce (BJA) welcome the first positive evaluation of the agreement and call on Belgian and Japanese companies to tap into areas where the EPA's potential has not yet been realised.

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Pictures of the BJA New Year Celebration Party

The Pictures of the BJA New Year Celebration Party are online. You can see the pictures by clicking on "more".

1月27日に開催されました、BJA新年会の写真はこちらのリンクからどうぞ。

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Job offers
人材募集

Please have a look at the latest job offers from MUFG, the Embassy of Japan,...Interested? Click on more.



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Pictures of the Bonenkai at the MAS - Exclusive Visit of the "Cool Japan" Exhibition

The Pictures of the Bonenkai at the MAS - Exclusive Visit of the "Cool Japan" Exhibition are online. You can see the pictures by clicking on "more".

11月28日に開催されました、“クールジャパン” 展示会特別訪問の写真はこちらのリンクからどうぞ。

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Pictures of the BJA vip Luncheon: The Belgium National Hockey Team on its Way to Tokyo 2020

The Pictures of the BJA vip Luncheon: The Belgium National Hockey Team on its Way to Tokyo 2020 are online. You can see the pictures by clicking on "more".

11月21日に開催されました、VIP特別昼食会The Belgium National Hockey Team on its Way to Tokyo 2020の写真はこちらのリンクからどうぞ。

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Pictures of the Vip Visit to the Future

The Pictures of the Vip Visit to the Future are online. You can see the pictures by clicking on "more".

10月29日に開催されました、Vip Visit to the Futureの写真はこちらのリンクからどうぞ。

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Pictures of the 6th Young Professionals Cross-Chamber Networking Night

The Pictures of the 6th Young Professionals Cross-Chamber Networking Night are online. You can see the pictures by clicking on "more".

10月17日に開催されました、6th Young Professionals Cross-Chamber Networking Nightの写真はこちらのリンクからどうぞ。

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Pictures of the 2019 BJA Golf Cup & Golf Initiation

The Pictures of the 2019 BJA Golf Cup & Golf Initiation are online. You can see the pictures by clicking on "more".

09月14日に開催されました、2019 BJA Golf Cup & Golf Initiationの写真はこちらのリンクからどうぞ。

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The BJA Welcomes a new Sponsor Member

We would like to welcome NIPPON GASES BELGIUM NV as new Sponsor Member of the Belgium-Japan Association & Chamber of Commerce.

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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games ticket sales

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (July 24th until August 9th 2020) are fast approaching, performance, innovation, emotion and the discovery of a unique culture will be at the heart of the greatest sporting event in the world.

As the official and exclusive agency of the Belgian Olympic and Interfederal Committee, EVENTEAM is your only official access to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games for Belgium.

EVENTEAM is a member of the BJA since 2019 and official agency for major events such as Roland Garros, F1, the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, which will be a first expertise in the Nippon country.

EVENTEAM allows you to live this experience thanks to a 100% customizable offer available. The ticket sales started Thursday, June 20, 2019 at 10 am on www.eventeam.be/tokyo2020.

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Pictures of the Kaiseki Workshop

The pictures of the Kaiseki Workshop are online. You can see the pictures by clicking on "more".

05月19日に開催されました、「会席・懐石 料理」ワークショップの写真はこちらのリンクからどうぞ。

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Pictures of the Exclusive Visit to Kaneka Belgium

The pictures of the Exclusive Visit to Kaneka Belgium are online. You can see the pictures by clicking on "more".

05月9日に開催されました、カネカベルギー特別訪問の写真はこちらのリンクからどうぞ。

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Pictures of the Security Seminar

The Pictures of the 2019 Security Seminar are online. You can see the pictures by clicking on "more".

04月19日に開催されました、第7回企業・在留邦人向け安全対策セミナーの写真はこちらのリンクからどうぞ。

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Pictures of the #Yes2Belgium Election Debate

The Pictures of the #Yes2Belgium Election Debate are online. You can see the pictures by clicking on "more".

04月03日に開催されました、#Yes2Belgium Election Debateの写真はこちらのリンクからどうぞ。

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Pictures of the BJA Annual General Assembly

The Pictures of the BJA Annual General Assembly are online. You can see the pictures by clicking on "more".

03月19日に開催されました、BJA定例総会の写真はこちらのリンクからどうぞ。

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Pictures of the BJA Seminar: Brexit – Are We Ready?

The Pictures of the BJA Seminar: Brexit – Are We Ready? are online. You can see the pictures by clicking on "more".

03月12日に開催されました、BJA セミナーBrexit – Are We Ready?の写真はこちらのリンクからどうぞ。

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Pictures of the EU-Japan Trade Agreement Seminar

The Pictures of the EU-Japan Trade Agreement Seminar are online. You can see the pictures by clicking on "more".

02月28日に開催されました、EU-Japan Trade Agreement Seminarの写真はこちらのリンクからどうぞ。

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Pictures of the BJA New Year Cocktail

The Pictures of the BJA New Year Cocktail are online. You can see the pictures by clicking on "more".

01月21日に開催されました、BJA New Year Cocktailの写真はこちらのリンクからどうぞ。

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Entry into force of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement


On the First of February the long awaited EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement entered into force.

The Belgium-Japan Association & Chamber of Commerce is convinced this new agreement will further strengthen the economic relations and friendship between Belgium and Japan.

For more information, click on more.

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European Commission adopts adequacy decision on Japan, creating the world's largest area of safe data flows

The European Commission has adopted on the 23rd of January its adequacy decision on Japan, allowing personal data to flow freely between the two economies on the basis of strong protection guarantees.

For more information, click here

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The BJA Welcomes a new Sponsor Member

We would like to welcome TOKAI OPTECS NV as new Sponsor Member of the Belgium-Japan Association & Chamber of Commerce.

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17 July 2018 - EU-Japan EPA signed in Tokyo

The EU and Japan have signed an unprecedented free trade agreement which will create one of the world's largest trading blocs.
Japan's Prime Minister Abe met with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk in Tokyo on Tuesday 17 July 2018 to sign the EPA at the 25th EU-Japan Summit.
The result of four years of negotiation, the EPA was finalized in late 2017 and is expected to come into force by the end of the current mandate of the European Commission in autumn 2019. The EU has called the agreement "highly ambitious and comprehensive." The total trade volume of goods and services between the EU and Japan is €86 billion.



Government of Japan - 2017 Autumn Conferment of Decorations on Foreign Nationals
Dear Members and Friends,

We would like to share with you the wonderful news of the honor bestowed upon our BJA Vice-President, Mr Tanguy Van Overstraeten.

The Japanese Embassy informed that on November 3, 2017, the Government of Japan decided to confer decorations on 149 foreign nationals for the Autumn 2017. From Belgium, Mr. Tanguy Van Overstraeten, Vice-President and Director of the Belgium-Japan Association and Chamber of Commerce (BJA) received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette for his contribution to strengthening economic relations between Japan and Belgium.

You can find the original news on the website of the Japanese Embassy: http://www.be.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_en/news_171103.html http://www.be.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_ja/news_171103.html

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Government of Japan - 2016 Autumn Conferment of Decorations on Foreign Nationals
Dear Members and Friends,

We would like to share with you the wonderful news of the honor bestowed upon our President, Prof. Gilbert Declerck.

We were informed by the Japanese Embassy to Belgium that on November 3rd, 2016, the Government of Japan announced the 2016 Autumn Conferment of Decorations on Foreign Nationals that included one Belgian citizen among the 96 recipients. Prof. Gilbert Declerck, President of the Belgium-Japan Association and Chamber of Commerce and former President and CEO of the IMEC, received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon for his outstanding contribution to the enhancement of economic relations between Japan and Belgium.

You can also find this message on the Japanese Embassy’s website: http://www.be.emb-japan.go.jp/english/archives/news_161103.html and http://www.be.emb-japan.go.jp/japanese/archives_j/news_161103.html

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Foreign Chambers of Commerce - Joint Response - Belgium Bashing
International business community supports Belgium


Belgium’s image has seriously suffered in the weeks and months following the terrorist attacks in Paris last November. In response, a group of 13 Chambers of Commerce, representing the largest and most active foreign investors in Belgium, have signed an open letter re-affirming the commitment of the international business community to Belgium as a place to live and work. We have a strong, positive message about Belgium that we would like to share to help start correcting some of the misrepresentations.

Please kindly find the open letter of the Chambers by clicking 'more'.

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The Government of Japan announced the names of foreign recipients of the 2015 Autumn Imperial Decorations - Mr Thomas Leysen, Honorary BJA President

On November 3rd, 2015, the Government of Japan announced the names of foreign recipients of the 2015 Autumn Imperial Decorations. Among the 100 foreign recipients are two Belgian nationals. Mr. Thomas André Leysen, President of Umicore N.V. / S.A., Former President of the Belgium-Japan Association and Chamber of Commerce, will receive the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star for his contribution to the enhancement of economic relations and mutual understanding between Japan and Belgium. Mr. Daniel Ost, a Flower artist, will receive the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette for his contribution to the promotion of cultural exchanges and mutual understanding between Japan and Belgium.

The Belgium-Japan Association & Chamber of Commerce would like to congratulate all the bestowed, but especially Mr Thomas Leysen, former BJA President, on the conferment of decoration “Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star” to him by the Government of Japan. The BJA is honoured to have him as BJA Honorary President, and indebted to his expertise and wisdom he gladly shares to the benefit of Belgium-Japan relations. His continued efforts to strengthen the bonds of the community will lead us to take example in contributing to the friendship between our two nations.

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Award of the “Ambassador’s Commendation”
On December 10th, an awarding ceremony of the Ambassador‘s Commendation was held at the Ambassador’s residence. The following three persons were awarded the commendations for their valuable contribution to promoting friendly relations and enhancing economic and cultural exchanges between Japan and Belgium.

1. Mr. Tanguy VAN OVERSTRAETEN (Vice President of Belgium-Japan Association & Chamber of Commerce (BJA)) Mr. VAN OVERSTRAETEN has contributed to promoting economic relations through working on legal issues related to Japan’s and Belgium’s investment for more than 20 years, particularly by establishing and managing the Legal and Tax Committee at BJA.

2. Prof. Andreas THELE (Director of Japanese Studies Centre, University of Liège) Prof. THELE has contributed to promoting cultural and academic relations through research and lectures in Japanese Studies for more than 20 years at the University of Liège and through Japanese language education at the University of Mons.

3. Prof. Dimitri VANOVERBEKE (Professor of Japanese Studies, Catholic University of Leuven) Prof. VANOVERBEKE has contributed to promoting cultural and academic relations through research and lectures in Japanese Studies at Catholic University of Leuven for more than 15 years and through activities in various areas of exchange between Japan and Belgium.

The Belgium-Japan Association & Chamber of Commerce would like to congratulate all the bestowed of a certificate of commendation by His Excellency Ambassador Mitsuo Sakaba, Japanese ambassador to Belgium.

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Pictures of the BJA 50 years Gala
The pictures of the BJA 50 years anniversary Gala of November 9th have been uploaded. You can see them by clicking on "more".
11月9日に開催されました、BJA50周年記念ガラディナーパーティー写真はこちらの"more"をクリックしてご覧ください。

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ROYAL TITLE BESTOWED UPON THE BJA
His Majesty King Albert II of Belgium bestowed upon the BJA the Royal title. This honour comes as the BJA prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary. During these 50 years, the BJA has promoted closer ties between Belgium and Japan, both at the economic, cultural and personal level.

On March 20th, the Royal Diploma was handed over during an Official Ceremony by the Governor of Brussels, Mr Jean Clément, to Mr Thomas Leysen, the President of the BJA, in presence of BJA Vice-Presidents, Mr Edward De Beukelaer, Mr Atsushi Sudo and Mr Tanguy Van Overstraeten.

The title "Royal" may be granted by the King to Belgian associations that have been in existence for more than 50 years. Other criteria taken into account include good management, the not-for-profit purpose of the association, its vitality and soundness.

The BJA is most grateful for the honor granted by His Majesty King Albert II of Belgium - a historical moment for the association and its members.

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Certificate of Commendation by H.E. Ambassador Jun Yokota, Japanese ambassador to Belgium
The Belgium-Japan Association & Chamber of Commerce would like to congratulate all the bestowed, but especially Mr Thomas Leysen, BJA President and Mrs Anja Oto-Kellens, BJA Executive Director on the bestowment of a certificate of commendation by His Excellency Ambassador Jun Yokota, Japanese ambassador to Belgium.

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Pictures of Commendation from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan to the BJA
BJA平成20年度外務大臣表彰受賞のレセプション写真集

The Japanese Embassy in Belgium officially informed the BJA that the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan awarded in Tokyo on July 15, 2008 the Belgium-Japan Association & Chamber of Commerce a commendation for the outstanding role the BJA plays in fostering the relations between both nations. The certificate of commendation was bestowed upon the BJA during a reception at the residence of HE Ambassador Hayashi on Thursday 2 October in Brussels.

この度、BJAは平成20年度外務大臣表彰候補者団体に挙げられ、7月15日に行われた表彰式の席にて正式に受賞者団体の一団体に選ばれました。 日本と諸外国との友好親善関係の増進に努め、その功績に称えるこの名誉ある外務大臣表彰は10月2日に林大使公邸で開かれたレセプションの席にてBJAに授与されました。

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latest update: 31.03.20
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