Boosting links to Japan

It is hoped the visit will strengthen ties between Aberdeen and Japan.
It is hoped the visit will strengthen ties between Aberdeen and Japan.

North East MSPs Alex Johnstone and Ross Thomson this week met international Karate legend Ronnie Watt OBE as he prepared to leave on a visit to the land of the rising sun to strengthen the relationship between Aberdeen and Japan.

Mr Watt was invited to visit Kagoshima and Nagasaki when he and his colleagues hosted a trip to Aberdeen by Japanese Karate students last year. His packed itinerary includes meetings with local dignitaries and business people from the region, as well as a Karate demonstration and civic reception.

Mr Watt, who was awarded an OBE and Order of the Rising Sun by the Japanese Government in recognition of his many years of Karate teaching said: “I am delighted to once again be returning to Japan, and look forward to highlighting the many opportunities for trade and friendship between our two countries.”

Ross Thomson MSP said: “The important and longstanding relationship between the city and the Japanese continues to go from strength to strength. I have been delighted to welcome several delegations from Japan and lead the way in bringing Glover House back into use, and I welcome any positive move that supports this important relationship.”

Alex Johnstone MSP said: “Japan is the world’s third largest economy, and Aberdeen remains in an excellent positition to develop further opportunities there including trade, education culture and sport.”

Mr Watt is taking a number of gifts for his Japanese hosts including engraved quiachs and a rare bottle of ‘The Glover’ whisky named after Scottish Samurai Thomas Blake Glover who lived in Nagasaki.