At the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Commander of the Finnish Air Force, Major General Kim Jäämeri visited Japan on March 5th～12th and met with high-level officials and officers from both the civilian and military sectors. The weeklong stay also offered him a chance to get to know cultural, culinary, technological and historical aspects of the country.
Besides taking part in programs in Tokyo and Hamamatsu Air Base arranged by his counterpart, General Yoshiyuki Sugiyama, Chief of the Japanese Air Self Defense Forces, MG Jäämeri had opportunities to call on Mr. Takayuki Kobayashi, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Defense, Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano, Chief of the Joint Staff and Dr. Hideaki Watanabe, Commissioner of the Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency. He also exchanged views on security and defense affairs with Japanese experts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Cabinet Office.
Fond of cooking himself, Major General Jäämeri enjoyed tasting a variety of Japanese dishes including grilled eel unagi. A short trip to Hiroshima coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was a chance for him to get a glimpse into Japan's past as well as a provincial flavor. To wrap up the visit, he practiced the Japanese martial art of Judo with a Japanese master on his last day in Japan. "We had a great week", says Col. Matti Laakkonen, Defense Attaché at the Embassy who accompanied the commander along with Lt.Col. Markus Korhonen from the Finnish Air Force.
His visit is an example of increasing exchanges between Finland and Japan in various areas and levels in recent years.