April 2016

Richard Collasse

At 17, Richard Collasse came to Japan knowing very little about the country, except that he wanted to buy a Nikon camera. Now, after having lived here for over 40 years, 20 of them as president of Chanel Japan ...
June 2016

Appreciation and not comparison

This year, Ambassador Magnus Robach celebrates 40 years with the Swedish foreign service. His career has taken him all over the world, with postings in places such as Paris, Brussels, Cairo and Brasilia. He sat down with Eurobiz Japan ...
July 2016

An untraditional career

French Ambassador to Japan Thierry Dana describes his career in the foreign service as being both traditional and untraditional. The traditional part includes diplomatic postings to places such as New York, Algeria and Hong Kong ...
August 2016

Leader, mentor, inspiration

Lady Barbara Judge has had a singular career, blazing the trail for women into the highest positions in business, and encouraging them to follow. Her extensive list of former and current titles — including commissioner ...
September 2016

Celebrating two cultures

An avid reader of history and a collector of antique books, Italian Ambassador to Japan Domenico Giorgi has spent his career in the foreign service in places such as Beijing, Geneva and Brussels.
October 2016

At the pinnacle of a rewarding career

German Ambassador to Japan Dr Hans Carl von Werthern has had a fruitful and rewarding 32-year career with posts to countries such as Paraguay, Belgium, Vietnam, the United Kingdom and China.
November 2016

Promoting strong global relationships

Swiss Ambassador to Japan Jean-François Paroz only arrived in Tokyo in September, but his career with Switzerland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spans nearly 30 years. In the four years before coming to Japan, he was Ambassador ...
December 2016

A unique position

Since starting his career in the early 1980s at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague, Netherlands Ambassador to Japan Aart Jacobi has had postings to the US and Spain, and served as ambassador to the South American ...
January 2017

Presenting and representing a nation

For most of his career, Austrian Ambassador to Japan Dr Hubert Heiss has had Europe on his mind. He was assistant to the chief negotiator when Austria was discussing terms for its entry into the European Union ...
February 2017

The matchmaker

As an ambassador for the happiest country in the world, Denmark, His Excellency Freddy Svane infuses all of his work with good humour and unflagging energy. He was posted to Brussels in the 1980s where he negotiated treaties ...
March 2017

Touting transformation through tech and trees

Finland joined the European Union, together with Austria and Sweden, on Sunday, January 1st, 1995, and the day after, on Monday at 9:00, Jukka Siukosaari reported for his first day at Finland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
April 2017

Holding to her convictions

Since taking office in July 2016, Tokyo’s first female governor, Yuriko Koike, has proved herself to be a politician committed to doing what’s best for the citizens of her city. She has postponed the move of Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market ...
June 2017

Broker of peace, champion of prosperity

Throughout his 32-year career in the foreign service, Ambassador Giorgio Starace has had postings on almost every continent. In addition to working at embassies in Guatemala and Beijing, he has served as diplomatic advisor ...
July 2017

Raising Ireland’s profile in Japan

This is a year of celebration for Ireland in Japan — 2017 marks 60 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, and it is the 25th anniversary of the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Tokyo.
August 2017

The negotiator

Mauro Petriccione speaks with the voice and authority of the European Union, and represents the collective interests of its member states during trade negotiations. He is chief negotiator for ...
September 2017

Learning to pilot as he flies

Having won a scholarship to study political science in Bulgaria from 1995 to 1999, Leon Malazogu, today Kosovo’s ambassador to Japan, was safe during most of the Kosovo War.
October 2017

The tools of the trade

Finland joined the EU in 1995, the same year Marjut Hannonen completed her post-graduate studies in EU law. The next year, she became one of Finland’s first EU officials and has spent her career at the European Commission ...
November 2017

Doing diplomacy differently

On 6 December, Finns around the world will celebrate Finland’s 100th anniversary as an independent nation. Ambassador of Finland to Japan Jukka Siukosaari has been celebrating this historic occasion all year long.
December 2017

An advocate of diversity

For nearly four years, His Excellency Dr Hans Carl von Werthern has been ambassador of Germany to Japan, working to strengthen political dialogue, economic cooperation and cultural exchange between the two like-minded nations.
January 2018

A labour of love

In 1991, Slovenia became an independent country. Simona Leskovar, who is ambassador to Japan today, was part of the first generation of independent Slovenians attending university. After graduating from the international relations programme ...
February 2018

Moving to a new level

On 11 November 1868, Japan and Sweden signed a Treaty of Friendship, Navigation and Commerce, just two and a half weeks after the official start of the Meiji period. This year marks 150 years of formal diplomatic relations between the two countries.
March 2018

Looking at the horizon

Since he was a boy growing up in Thessaloniki, Greece, Leonidas Karapiperis has been fascinated by science. He studied mathematical physics at the University of Sussex, and then did his PhD in microelectronics at Cornell University.
April 2018

Taking more ground

After nearly a year in Japan, Ambassador Giorgio Starace has settled confidently into his role, enthusiastically supporting the efforts of Italian businesses here, working to strengthen political cooperation, and promoting Italian culture.
May 2018

Turning words into actions

After nearly a year in Japan, Ambassador Giorgio Starace has settled confidently into his role, enthusiastically supporting the efforts of Italian businesses here, working to strengthen political cooperation, and promoting Italian culture.
June 2018

Emphasising quality

After nearly a year in Japan, Ambassador Giorgio Starace has settled confidently into his role, enthusiastically supporting the efforts of Italian businesses here, working to strengthen political cooperation, and promoting Italian culture.
July 2018

Four decades of diplomacy

After serving for nearly four years as the European Union’s Ambassador to Japan, Viorel Isticioaia-Budura will be returning to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bucharest, Romania, and will report for work on 1 September ...
September 2018

Part of a new tradition

A career diplomat specialising in policy, Estonian Ambassador to Japan Jaak Lensment has been a witness to the development and modernisation of Estonia over the past 25 years. He has had postings in Russia, the Netherlands and Austria ...
October 2018

Turning good feelings into good business

For the past year, Pekka Laitinen has served as commercial counsellor at the Embassy of Finland. He first came to Japan in 1987 as a representative of a Finnish bank and has lived here for a total of 20 years. His career in banking has also taken him to the Netherlands and Russia.
December 2018

A catalyst for greater cooperation

Born in Tokyo, Georg Löer moved to Bonn — in the German state of North Rhine–Westphalia (NRW) — at the age of five. In 1974, a visit to Japan rekindled his interest in the country, so he decided to study at the International Christian University ...
January 2019

The growth expert

After Cecilia Öberg Leiram started her career as a trainee at the Swedish telecom giant Ericsson, she came to Tokyo with the Swedish Science & Technology Office. There, she covered technical developments and advances in Japan’s information and communications technology (ICT) sector ...
February 2019

Flying the flag in Japan

After working as a lawyer at an international law firm in Brussels from 2002 to 2012, Brent Van Tassel joined Belgium’s foreign service. His first posting was to Burundi, a former colony, as consul of Belgium. Since 2016, he has been serving as first secretary ...
March 2019

Off and running

Sports fans around the world are getting excited about the major sporting events set to take place in Japan this year and next: the Rugby World Cup will be held this autumn and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics next July, August and September. British Ambassador to Japan Paul Madden spoke with Eurobiz Japan about the importance of these events to the UK and the new opportunities they will bring.
April 2019

Protecting prosperity

As the EU’s commissioner for trade, Cecilia Malmström lives to strengthen connections and increase prosperity. She oversaw negotiations on the EU–Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), the world’s biggest and most comprehensive trade pact, which came into force on 1 February.
May 2019

Far more than fashion

For 20 years, Enrico Vattani has been serving Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During his career, Vattani has worked in Rome in the Press Department, on online promotion and communications, and in the Cultural Promotion Department, dealing with the 90 cultural institutes Italy has around the world and, later, focusing on contemporary art.
June 2019

Sustaining Swissness

After 10 years in academia, with a focus on international economic law and East Asia, Ivo Kaufmann decided to take up a post in the Swiss government. Since 1992, he has held several positions, mainly in trade and investment. Before coming to Tokyo, he served as deputy permanent representative to the World Trade Organization in Geneva for four years.
July 2019

Stable and prudent

With a background in both business and academia, Andrej Bertoncelj brings decades of practical experience and theoretical understanding to his role as Slovenia’s finance minister.
August 2019

Everything in balance

Part of Jorge Toledo Albiñana’s 30-year career at Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been focused on the European Union and European affairs, including roles as director of the Department of European Affairs and G20 in the prime minister’s office, and secretary of state for the EU in the Spanish government.
September 2019

Something valuable to say

Before joining Iceland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1998, Ambassador Elín Flygenring earned a law degree from the University of Iceland and a Master’s in comparative law from Stockholm University, and she worked for Iceland’s Equality Council, the Nordic Council, and as a director of the Parliament of Iceland’s International Department.
October 2019

Diplomacy on the pitch

In 2016, Neale Richmond was elected to the Seanad, Ireland’s Senate, and currently acts as its spokesperson on European affairs. Europe has been an important area of focus for him since serving, early in his career, on the EU’s Committee of the Regions in Brussels.
November 2019

Everything in good shape

During his nearly four decades in the Danish foreign service, Ambassador-designate of the Kingdom of Denmark to Japan Peter Taksøe-Jensen has had numerous roles, including helping to negotiate the first treaty on conventional arms in Europe and developing NATO policy.
December 2019

Active in all areas of economic life

With more than 30 years at Germany’s Federal Foreign Office, Susanne Welter has had a number of diverse postings, including to countries in Africa, Europe and Central Asia.
January 2020

From milestone to milestone

Last year was an important milestone in diplomatic ties between Austria and Japan as they celebrated 150 years of bilateral relations, holding numerous events in both countries to mark the occasion.
February 2020

Growing ambitions

After working as an interpreter, Roxane de Bilderling began a career in diplomacy in 2000, working first in Brussels and then as first secretary at the Embassy of Belgium in Nairobi, where she was also deputy permanent representative to the UN Environment Programme and the UN Human Settlement Programme.
March 2020

Strong ties through the highs and lows

For three years, Ambassador of Italy to Japan Giorgio Starace has been successfully promoting trade, businesses, and culture from Italy in Japan.
April 2020

Solidarity in action

As the world grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic, Ambassador of the EU to Japan Patricia Flor sat down with Eurobiz Japan — at a safe social distance — to speak about the EU’s response to the coronavirus...
June 2020

Focused on the future

After becoming one of the worst-hit countries in Europe for cases of Covid-19, Spain has eased its lockdown measures and is working to carefully reopen its economy.
July 2020

A new priority

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Czech Republic has developed a platform called Connecting Czech Republic — under the umbrella of the nation’s Country for the Future innovation strategy...
August 2020

Shielding and safeguarding

Green issues have been a major focus of Pekka Haavisto’s career since he became a member of Finnish parliament in 1987
October 2020

Optimistic about the future

Ambassador of Poland to Japan Paweł Milewski’s career has had a strong focus on Asia
November 2020

The value of unity

For more than 30 years, Ambassador of Germany to Japan Ina Lepel has served her nation in the Federal Foreign Office.
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