Once You Get to Know Albanians
Albanian Daily News
Published December 1, 2017
The Ambassador of Japan to Albania H.E Makoto Ito paid a visit to Albanian Daily News headquarters on Thursday, where he was received by the general manager and publisher of ADN and albaniannews.com, Mrs Anisa Skendaj, ADN's editor-in-chief Alqi Koçiko, senior diplomatic editor Genc Mlloja and webpage editor-in-chief, Rozeta Tase.
ADN staff and Mr. Ito exchanged points of view and made a brief representation of their work and mission, in a friendly atmosphere. Mrs Skendaj briefed the ambassador on the history and activity of Albanian Daily News, expressing also her belief that the greater attention of Japan for Albania and the Balkan region is a very encouraging sign for our country's progress.
The first resident Ambassador of Japan to Tirana, Mr.Ito spoke of the still insisting gap and misrepresentation between Albania's image in the distant areas such as many Asian countries, and the excellent first-hand impressions and experiences of those who get to know and live among Albanians.
"We are a new embassy", Mr Ito said, "with a still relatively small staff. But we opened this embassy my government believes Albanian is a promoter of stability and prosperity in the region. We totally support Albania's aspirations for EU membership, which are legitimate and natural aspiration, and on the other hand Albania as a NATO member and part of Western collective defense is a very positive sign in the regional security issue".
Ambassador Ito went on explaining the four pillars his diplomatic mission is based on: Dialogue in every level; economic cooperation, with the great possibilities in sectors such as minerals, trade expansion etc; educational and cultural exchanges; and of course, taking care of Japanese co-nationals here. "There are still very few Japanese citizens in Albania", Mr Ito noted, "but I strongly believe that once a group of people comes in Albania and gets to know Albanians, their traditions, culture, hospitality, knowledge of foreign languages, cuisine, wonderful nature, etc, they will totally change their original opinions, that are made mainly of negative media reporting and distorted news".
"Once one Japanese company comes and settles in Albania, many of them will follow, just like it happened in Poland and other eastern European countries," the ambassador said, illustrating this with his own example: "I must confess I completely changed my point of view when I came to Tirana. That's why we should get to know each-other better". He added that Albanian youth is eager to learn, to work and keen on languages, and these elements together with the relatively cheap labor force should help promoting Albania as a good opportunity for Japanese investments.
Further on, Mr Ito congratulated Albanian Daily News' balanced, impartial and objective reporting, expressing his conviction towards a closer collaboration.

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