Farewell Message from Consul General Daisuke Matsunaga

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Dear Friends,

I am leaving for Japan, finishing my tenure of two years and three months as the Consul General of Japan in Edinburgh.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and friendship, which enabled me to fulfill my service here.

When I arrived in Edinburgh on 10th May 2016, I found colorful flowers in full bloom and I felt as if I had landed in paradise.  A month and a half later, the EU referendum took place.  Against widely held expectations, the people of the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU.   I remember heading to the office by a taxi as if it were yesterday.  After that, concerns of Japanese nationals had been summed up in Japan’s message to the UK and the EU back in 2016, which has been communicated to the UK Government, the EU and EU countries.

Apart from the job, I experienced the long periods of daylight you have in Scotland during the spring and summer.  The beauty of the summer twilight especially impressed me.  It was quite refreshing to see a bright sky after evening meetings and dinners. (I understand how terns feel, which are said to move from the Northern hemisphere in summer to the Southern hemisphere in winter, in order to enjoy long daylight)

I also had opportunities to grow various flowers and vegetables.  The climate here is suitable for growing plants, with sunlight and rain coming in turn.  I even found new flowers in bloom when I came back home during lunch breaks, which I didn’t see earlier in the morning. The order of flowers and plants to grow and bloom seems to be decided not by humans but by nature.  I planted radish and beet in my first year, tomatoes in the second year, and sunflowers and rhubarb this year, but my role seems to have been just to water them and wait them to grow on their own.

I am leaving shortly, and I will not forget the kindness of people and the splendor of the nature in Scotland and North England.  I sincerely wish the relations between these places and Japan will be further deepened and awareness and understanding about Japan will be further developed. 

Thank you very much for reading this and I wish you all the best and happiness.