In the late 1980’s, Japan was Canada’s second largest trading partner and a major foreign investor in our country, was perceived as being one of the strongest and smartest industrial nations in the world, and was the world’s largest exporter of capital. The strengthening of commercial links between Canada and Japan was clearly a matter of considerable importance to Canada and its business, professional and academic communities.
Senior members of those communities concluded that there was a need to establish in Canada a permanent national organization which would enable senior representatives of Canadian companies, firms and academia to meet their counterparts on the Japanese side on a continuing basis to discuss matters of mutual interest. There followed various meetings and background papers, a study into all aspects of the matter and finally the founding of The Japan Society in October 1989.
The founders of the Society, both Canadian and Japanese, believed that as Canada and Japan became more interdependent and their relationship became more complex, the Society would assume an increasingly important role in meeting the challenges which lay ahead and in promoting and enhancing understanding between our two nations. As we anticipate our 30th anniversary of operations, our objective is to continue to fulfill that mandate for the benefit of both Canada and Japan.