Interview with Ms. Suzanne Ethier：スザンヌ・エティエ代表とのインタビュー
Interview Series #21：インタビュー＃２１
Interviewee: Ms. Suzanne Ethier Representative, Delegation Office of Quebec Government, Tokyo (Date: March 14, 2008; Place: Delegation Office, Tokyo; Interviewer/Writer: Takahiro Miyao)
I was recently invited to meet Madame Suzanne Ethier, new representative of Quebec Delegation Office in Tokyo, who had arrived in Japan a few days before. It was a very nice, friendly meeting, where she expressed her interest in working for developing closer relations between Quebec and Japan, especially among young students and scholars at universities and research institutes. While emphasizing the importance of exchange in education and research, she touched on wide-ranging topics, from design/brand marketing to environmental problems, where Japan and Quebec (and Canada as a whole) could work together in a fruitful way.
Summary of Ms. Ethier’s Interview
I came to Japan for the first time in 1997, as a member of the Quebec government's mission to the Asia-Pacific region, and have visited Japan 7-8 times since then. I like Japan very much and, as the Quebec government representative in Tokyo this time, wish to help develop a closer relationship between Quebec and Japan, especially in the field of education and research. It is important to interact with young students and researchers in Japan so that they may become aware of important academic and scientific resources in Quebec for establishing mutually beneficial relations in the long run.
Although it may be “fashionable” to focus on China in the Asia-Pacific region these days, I strongly feel that Japan has a lot to offer to the outside world. For one thing, Japan has a very strong manufacturing activity with excellent managerial practices and technological knowhow, which Quebec businesses can learn from. In return, Quebec can provide Japan with expertise in strategically selected sectors such as aerospace, digital graphics, health and life sciences, etc. Branding and design may be another area where Quebec and Japan can work together to compete with developing countries in the global economy.
I also feel strongly about environmental problems facing us, and hope that Japan and Quebec (and Canada as a whole) can together make a contribution in this field. This year is particularly important for Japan, as the Summit meeting with focus on global warming will be held in Hokkaido this summer, and discussions seem to be at a crossroads as to whether a new global framework can be agreed upon by all the major countries including China and India. Here, Japan’s initiative seems crucial, and we will do our best to help Japan achieve a success in this regard.
Finally, I sincerely hope that Quebec can possibly offer a helpful model for Japan in such areas as immigration, language education, multi-cultural management as well as gender issues, as Japan is bound to face, if not already facing, these social problems in a rapidly globalizing world. We have so many things to share and learn from each other, and I am looking forward to my task to facilitate the process of sharing and learning between Quebec and Japan. References: Delegation General: Suzanne Ethier (in French) http://www.gouv.qc.ca/portail/quebec/international/japon/delegations/tokyo/chefposte/?lang=fr