On 28th September, Ambassador Hajime KITAOKA paid a courtesy call to H.E. Mr. Mart LAAR at his residence located at the quiet residential area of Tallinn, the Capital City.
Mr. LAAR worked as the Prime Minister twice, and so well remembered as one of the greatest contributors to the Estonian rapid economic development in 1990’s under his firm leadership.
Now he is at the important position of the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Eesti Pank, and still so deeply respected by many Estonians.
He is also a known historian, and his book “Bird’s-Eye View pf Estonian History” is published in 6 languages, making the book an indispensable text to study the Estonian history.
The book is also one of the first books, which Ambassador read after his appointment as the Ambassador to Estonia.
So much impressed by the book, Ambassador decided to make a full Japanese translation, which he has recently completed.
The Ambassador, guided into a study by Mrs. LAAR, asked Mr. LAAR for his signature on the 1st page of “Bird’s-Eye View pf Estonian History”.
Mr. LAAR so kindly accepted the Ambassador’s request, and signed his name with “to Hajime!”.
The Ambassador expressed his thanks saying “I shall treasure this book!”.
Then the Ambassador showed his Japanese translation to Mr. LAAR, asking the permission of the publication of the Japanese text, which was accepted by him.
It was followed by Mr. LAAR’s lecture to the Ambassador on the present situation of Estonian politics and its future prospect.
Mr. LAAR, referring to the last sentence of “Bird’s-Eye View pf Estonian History”, “the key to success both for Estonia and many other countries is hidden in the balance between openness and national identity”, said that this is a very difficult challenge.
For the Ambassador, it was particularly impressive that he then said “one of the important similarities between Estonia and Japan is that both of them have put a great emphasis on the balance between openness and national identity”.
Ambassador KITAOKA would like to express his sincerest gratitude to Mr. and Mrs. LAAR for accepting him in such a cordial manner under COVID19!