On November 19, 2013 Michisada Kamata was appointed as Canada’s Honorary Consul in Fukuoka, and the Consulate headed by an Honorary Consul was opened on the 3rd floor of the Denki Building Honkan. The Consulate provides notarial services such as documentation for eligibility to marry in Japan, and consular assistance. However, please note that visa inquiries are not accepted. Mr. Kamata was one of the founding members of the Fukuoka Canada Society in 1999 and has continuously business and cultural relations between Fukuoka and Canada. Tel: 092-726-6348, Email Open: Tue. & Thu. 14:00~17:30. By appointment only.
Fukuoka Now’s Nick Szasz spoke with Mr. Kamata in early April. Below is a transcript of part of their conversation.
Congratulations on your appointment as Honorary Consul.
I’m proud to be able to support Canadians who live in Fukuoka and Kyushu. The Honorary Consul’s job is to provide services to people from that country, so I hope I can help Canadians have a safe and enjoyable time here. Also want to work hard to improve friendships between Canada, Fukuoka, Kyushu and Japan as much as possible.
What does the honorary consulate do?
We provide notarial services, respond to inquiries, support and promote economic and cultural activities between Canada and Kyushu. Marriage affidavits, certifications for eligibility to marry, are the most popular requests, because Canadians are required to declare they are legally free to marry in Japan when marrying a Japanese national. We also authenticate documents such as translation declarations, certified true copy and signature attestation. However, please note that visa inquiries are not accepted. We do however support Canadians who get involved in various kinds of trouble.
How did you become the Honorary Consul for Canada in Fukuoka?
I had met many Canadians living in Fukuoka and had a good relationship with the Canadian government when I was the president of Fukuoka Canada Association between 1999 to 2013. Then, the Canadian Embassy asked me to become the honorary consul. I hesitated to accept such an important position at first. However, since I wanted to continue to help create good relationships between Canada and Kyushu, I was inaugurated last year.
What is the connection between the Honorary Consul and Canada?
I had been the president of Fukuoka Canada Association for 14 years and have had additional exchanges with Canadians via various meetings, Christmas parties and courtesy call visitings. I’ve made six courtesy calls (2000~2010 every two year) to Canada. I’ve visited Ottawa, Montreal, Niagara Falls, Vancouver, Victoria, Canadian Rockies, Edmonton, Quebec, Yellowknife and Prince Edward Island. My impression is always of great nature and nice people.
Do you have any specific upcoming plans for business or culture exchange?
Nothing as the Honorary Consul for now. However, I will do my best to support the Fukuoka Canada Association’s activities and events related Canada.
Note: The population of Canadians in Fukuoka is roughly 250, in Kyushu & Okinawa combined, 600.