Yuyasu Izumi, representative of the Taipei Office of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, encountered events such as the epidemic and the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his four-year term in Taiwan. However, the relationship between Taiwan and Japan became closer, which brought a perfect end to his diplomatic career.
“These are flowers sent by FTV anchor Chen Shuzhen. Thank you. I am really happy!” Yutai Izumi, representative of the Taipei office of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, pointed to a pot of blooming orchids in the office with a shy smile and said to ” Financial News reporter said. His expression was as happy as a fan receiving a gift from his idol, because “I often watch her reporting news on TV, so I like her very much.”
“Financial News” also found that as a diplomat, Yutai Izumi has no airs at all and shows his true temperament. Huang Jiaozhang, chairman of the East Asia Economic Association of the Republic of China who often interacts with him, said: “He is very sincere and always smiles. Therefore, in just a few years, through his personal charm and actions, Taiwan’s friendship has deepened to Taiwanese friends, and even A partnership that lasts forever.”
Izumi Yuyasu, who often shows off his Taiwanese in public, actually didn’t know much about Taiwan before he became Japan’s representative in Taiwan in 2019. Although he once served as a counselor in China and as consul general of the Consulate General in Shanghai and paid attention to Taiwan, he only visited Taiwan once about 30 years ago.
A considerate way to communicate with each other》Taiwan sends masks and gets vaccines in return
Therefore, the previous representative to Taiwan, Mikio Numata, said to him: “You’d better keep silent for three months.” The reason is that Taiwan is too complicated. After actual contact, Izumi Yutai also discovered that each generation in Taiwan has different ideas, and there are also people from other provinces, locals, and aborigines. Each place also has different cultures, and it does take time to understand. The then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe specifically said to Izumi Yuyasu: “Japan and Taiwan do not have diplomatic relations. The Japanese may have hurt the hearts of the Taiwanese people in the past, so you must be particularly careful what you say now so as not to hurt them again.”
Regarding this point, Izumi Yutai can be said to have done a very good job. Not long after he came to Taiwan, Izumi Yutai encountered the epidemic. When Japan was short of masks in 2020, Taiwan donated two million masks; when Taiwan was short of vaccines, Japan sent Taiwan more than 4 million doses of vaccines, and the relationship between the two sides became even closer. Over the years, when natural disasters such as earthquakes and heavy rains occur, the two sides will greet each other and say they are safe. “Looking around the world, it is really rare for neighboring countries to not only not quarrel, but also to be heart-to-heart.”
According to the “Financial News” report, before leaving Taiwan on November 6, many items in Izumi Yutai’s office had been packed, but former President Lee Teng-hui’s porcelain plate with the words “Am I My Me” written on it was still displayed behind the sofa. Because Lee Teng-hui changed Taiwan without shedding a drop of blood, Izumi Yutai respected him very much. “I am very envious of the former representative. He and Lee Teng-hui met several times. I was not able to ask him for help in person, so I could only go to his grave to pay my respects.”
Abe’s assassination made Yuta Izumi witness the strength of the emotional bond between the two parties. At the condolence venue opened by the Taipei Office of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, more than 12,000 people of all ages, including men, women and children, poured in within seven days. The Taiwanese people were even more sad than the Japanese. What is gratifying is that although the two leaders of Japan and Taiwan passed away and the two sides lost their compass, they did not lose their direction and continued to move forward hand in hand.
A Delicious Story of Friendship》Wine Tasting Party, Fruit Festival, Exchange and Sharing Good Things
Not only official exchanges, but also people-to-people diplomacy. For example, he asked Japanese internet celebrities to interview him at his official residence in Yangmingshan, and he also shared every detail of his life on Facebook, including the stray cats in his official residence, to bring him closer to the people of Taiwan. He also organized the “Taiwan-Japan Fruit Summer Festival” to jointly display fruits that they are proud of. He also held wine tastings and recommended Hokkaido wine and Fukui Prefecture sake to Taiwanese people, all in the hope of more people-to-people exchanges.
On the other hand, “Financial News” reported that Yutai Izumi, who loves singing, also uses singing to make friends. He lives a busy life and claims that he is not good at outdoor sports such as ball games. He spends most of his free time sleeping or singing karaoke at home with his wife. He likes to sing Teresa Teng’s songs the most. “Obviously I can sing better, but the karaoke machine is always biased and gives my wife a higher score.” He found that Taiwanese people also like to sing after eating, especially performing songs. It can arouse everyone’s resonance and help enhance feelings.
Izumi Yutai not only speaks Chinese, but also has profound literary attainments. Huang Jiaozhang recalled: “Once at a dinner party, maybe because I can speak Japanese, during a break, he came from another table and showed me the poem he had just written. I was really surprised and admired that a Japanese People can actually write seven-character quatrains!” Huang Jiaozhang then asked a calligrapher to write down Izumi Yutai’s creations, framed them and gave them to him. Izumi Yutai also happily hung the two works in the VIP room of his official residence.
To be able to write poems, in addition to being able to grasp the artistic conception of Chinese characters, you also need to have a unique sensibility to observe the subtleties in life and then put them into words. For example, there is a seven-character quatrain called “Spring Day at Yangmingshan”: “The blue magpie tree is singing at medium frequency, the tabby cat is leisurely passing by with its tail raised, the soft light and green shade are suitable for dozing, the falling flowers are everywhere, and there is a lot of spring.” This is what he saw in the courtyard of the official residence in spring The fallen flowers, blue magpies, and cats all inspired me. It seems to come easily, but he said: “When writing a poem, you must consider factors such as rhythm and rhyme. After I finish writing, I will show it to the teacher. It usually takes about three weeks to write a poem.”
According to the “Financial News” report, he loves Chinese characters and is also good at calligraphy. However, the reason for learning calligraphy actually came from an embarrassing experience. “When I was the Consul General in China, I once needed to sign, and there were no ball pens or fountain pens on site, only brushes. To make matters worse, I found someone videotaping the situation, and I was so nervous that I couldn’t even write my own name.” After that experience, Yutai Izumi decided to practice calligraphy, at least to write his name beautifully.
He practiced calligraphy with his teacher for two years, and his favorite was Zhiyong regular script. However, he rarely writes recently because he is too laborious and too busy. The last time he wrote Li Bai’s “Changgan Xing”, it took him three hours and he was exhausted after finishing it. “Once I wrote an assignment at home and gave it to the calligraphy teacher for correction the next day. The teacher looked at it and said, ‘Your breath died here!’ Then I thought about the day before when I wrote at that place, I answered a call I received a phone call from you. So you have to be very attentive and complete it in one go to write a good work.”
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Excellent Chinese Achievements” writing ancient poetry and calligraphy, forming a pattern of its own
Looking back on his more than 40 years of diplomatic career, when he first debuted, Izumi Yutasu believed that diplomacy was about making spectacular achievements on the international stage. However, with the accumulation of experience, he has now changed his mind and feels that diplomacy is not about striving for the best interests of his country. , but use your imagination, understand the other person, and think about what you can do. The purpose of diplomacy is to make the other party like Japan. Having a good relationship between the two parties is the greatest security guarantee.
“Financial News” analyzed that with this kind of thinking, he also encouraged Taiwanese people to be more confident, just like providing masks, and actively contribute to the world without asking for anything in return. They will eventually win the respect of all countries and then understand Taiwan. It is a great regret that he failed to assist Taiwan in joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) during his term. He hopes that Taiwan will continue to work hard in the future, and Japan should also do its best to assist Taiwan in joining.
After quitting his role as a diplomat, Izumi Yuyasu joked that he had become a simple “retired old man”. When he returned to Japan, he decided to take good care of his health first, maybe consider writing a book, and return to his birthplace of Hiroshima to find old friends when he has time. At the last stop of his diplomatic career, he will always remember the warmth of the Taiwanese people.
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