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Reception in Tokyo, Japan

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Ambassador,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

It is a great pleasure to be here tonight.

When I visit Japan – one of the most important market for Norwegian seafood – I do it with great interest.

But, also with gratefulness.

Moreover, with great honour.

 

This gathering, hosted by Ambassador Brudeset, is a living proof of the strong relationship between our two countries.

In addition, it is a great opportunity to make our relationship even stronger.

 

Japan and Norway are two completely different countries.

In spite of that, we have some important traits in common:

We are both proud ocean nations.

We both have great interest in ski jumping.

Last but not least:

We both share the love for seafood.

 

Today, I can walk into any sushi shop in Japan – and the rest of the world for that matter – and immediately be able to spot a little orange delicacy:

Norwegian salmon.

The most popular neta (topping) in the world.

Our salmon would never had this standing without your sushi.

In addition, your traditional meal would probably not have been that popular without our sāmon.

This is what I would call a perfect match.

Japan is our most important market for salmon in Asia.

Currently, Japan is also the largest foreign owner in the Norwegian salmon farming industry.

In addition, Japan forms our largest market for mackerel worldwide.

 

Norway highly values the close and fruitful cooperation with Japan.

Now we have come to a natural point of expanding our cooperation.

We believe an Economic Partnership Agreement would be of great importance. For both of our countries.

Trade connects the world.

It raises living standards.

It provides employment.

In addition, it enables us all to enjoy a greater variety of goods.

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

This week, it is eight years since the earthquake and the following tsunami.

On behalf of Norway, I would like to express our strongest empathy with you for this tragic incident that caused so much harm for your country.

Luckily, Japan is among the countries in the world best prepared for earthquakes of this magnitude.

 

We certainly live in uncertain times.

That is for sure.

We are facing huge challenges.

Climate change is one of the biggest threats to our planet.

 

However, there is hope.

Because we also live in the most prosperous times.

We are more equipped.

More educated.

And, more qualified than ever before.

To create value for the world.

To live the lives we want.

To make our dreams come true.

That is a wonderful thing.

 

Let us use our wisdom, our hard work and our dedication in what we do to take us further.

And into the future.

Let us work closer together.

That will make us even stronger and more powerful.

 

Thank you for your attention!

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