A long experienced diplomat, Romania Ambassador in Japan Dr. Radu Serban gave us an analysis on now going international relationship and various topics related to Romania and Japan.
Q— On recent problem of Crimea issue, please give us your point of view.
A— Speaking about the matters of Crimea, Romania is very concerned about that. And also we are puzzled by what the Mr/ Putins intentions are; how far does he want to expand Russian scope? The same anxiety should be kept on shared by other European countries in ex-eastern world, to say, Baltic countries Poland, and so on.
However, Russian now on going bull policy will meet the problem once Soviet Union had suffered and eventually triggered its collapse. That is, economy. History tells us that the Soviet Union collapsed because of expanded budgetary expenditure. And now again, Russia will face the same issue. Because in newly gained Crimea, Russia needs to pay an un-ignorable cost; keeping on supplying electricity and other energy, deploying military, ensuring logistics root in every aspects and so on.
Q— Please give us your opinion of Mr. Edward Snowden’s leakage.
A— It was a treason. You should imagine that thanks for to the advanced technics of NSA IT technology, the rivalry countries shall introduce the same program. It shall decrease the his mother country’s interest leverage, without doubt. Personally I use the internet to communicate with my family in Romania and it is very convenient. We enjoy it but everything accompanies thecomes with a cost. The U.S. policy practice Mr. Snowden denounced revealed is one of that necessary such a cost. As former president Mr. Jimmy Cater recently put, you can use a hand written letter if you want to evade the NSA surveillance.
Q— How do you think of current situation in Japan. We are fiercely debating upon whether Japan should nuclear power power plant restarting. Also, we have a territory problems. Actually, I am a little bit pessimistic about Senkaku. It is possible that we may miss it in two decades or so. And Northern territory matters with Russia seems to be difficult to be resolved taking account into that they have never left it nearly 70 years.
A— Well, As far as the Japan’s international relationship, ‘’To be pragmatic’’ is very important. On the tension of Senkaku issue between Japan and China, I think that Japan one should assume many possible cases including bad scenarios ( i.e. thousands of Chinese fishermen come to the island; what can we do to manage that? – as one of my Japanese interlocutors suggested ). Also, on Northern territory of Japan, You should not be too optimistic. After all, Russia is a world famous good PKO (Piece of land Keeping Operation) player. And for what reasons it gives you back?, having in mind recent behavior of Russia in Ukraine.
For the author, his argument is persuading because he had been stand off positionmember of a team to negotiate with Soviet Union. For instance, when Romania started nuclear power plant program, the country denied to implement Soviet Nuclear power plant and instead settled Canadian reactor, from the western world in cold war era. Dr. Radu says ‘’ In negotiation we had asked the Soviet for to guarantee the safety of nuclear reactor in the case of seismic event. But they could not. That is the reason why we introduced Canadian reactors.
And now, 2 nuclear reactors are operating in the country. Although Fukushima incident had happened in Japan in 2011, the policy did not change. Sustainability for the economy is great concern for the economic growing ‘Tiger’ in Europa. Today, Romania is considered a new `tiger of Europe~ due to its fast growing economy.
Also, he points out appreciates exploiting the nuclear power is a pragmatic option for Japan, too. While No Nuklear Energy Policy is keeping attention and the many talks the ‘’real cost’’ of nuclear power leading to each own consequence ( some say the superiority of nuclear cost is a myth, others say the uprising importing cost of other energy sources such as LNG is a big burden to its economy), he stands in restarting Nuke policy side.Dr. Radu says policy change shall be done in steadily way. ‘’I know there are many cost calculations based on each different assumptions. However, one thing certain is that a lost 30 % of energy supply in Japan was dependent on nuclear fuels before Fukushima incident. If so, pragmatic option shall not be suddenly abandoning all the facilities. Doing so will lead to catastrophe consequence in national economy.’
However, he is not only a cool minded economist. He is also a talented Haiku poet. One of his warm work goes—
Horses and silk
Sakura drops in my way
Heading to the Palace
Koukyo e to kinubari no basha hana maeri
He still wants to rebuild embassy building. According to him, many construction companies gives a attractive proposal. If we rent them half of the land embassy owns or half of the new budging expecting to come for 50 years, we do not have to pay the construction fee. It is a unique option I have never heard before coming to Japan. The company makes profit by exploiting the land or building we can offer and we have to avoid expense for reconstruction cost. It is a very good win-win deal.
Other embassies, like French has always accepted offers.
And Dr. Radu hopes further mutual understanding of both countries. Actually, many Japanese wine businesses are importing huge amount of Romanian wines and we are often drinking Romanian wines without knowing that. They rebottle the imported wines in Japan, and place in the retail market marking MADE IN JAPAN. Most of us do not know the real quality of Romanian— one of the world oldest wine producers—wine.
In author’s impression, a 2009 vintaged red wine was very well balanced, in spite of that it has a high 14.6% Alcohols, still soft to the tongue, and herbal flavor is pleasant. Though cepage was unknown for me I can express that the character somewhat resembles like BordeauxBaurdex’s Merlot 80% and Carbernet Sauvignon 20% ratio products, to explain the experience to other wine lover.
Dr. Radu is eagerly engaging business trip and meeting in Japan to tie up more partnership than ever.
【Interviewer: Takanori Eto】