Wednesday, November 08, 2006
What is Japanese for Tir Mynydd.
I attended the first reception ever hosted by a Japanese Ambassador in the Assembly Building today. Rhodri Morgan was in fine form - telling us about the historical effectiveness of Welsh - Japanese cooperation. It seems that in the war between Japan and Russia some 100 years ago, it was the link with Wales that delivered victory to the Japanese. At that time early knowledge of the approaching fleet was crucial in sea battle - with both sides looking out for the smoke rising from ship's funnels, before the ships themselves came into sight over the horizon. The Japanese used Welsh coal which did not create any smoke at all which gave the Japanese the winning advantage. As Rhodri said, when Wales and Japan work in harness, they can overcome the most formidable challenge. I wonder what President Putin will think of this one when he calls by the Assembly!!
After the speeches, I searched out the Ambassador for a chat. I had become very friendly with one of his predessessors, Mr Chiba, in the 1980s and thought he would surely know him. Couldn't find him anywhere. Searched high and low. Finally located him cowering behind a pillar with Brynle Williams explaining the reasons why we Tories are fighting so hard to retain funding for Tir Mynnydd. The poor man looked dazed. Brynle was moving on to 'voluntary modulation' when I intervened to avoid a diplomatic incident. But there was no stopping Brynle now. He moved straight on to the Ambassodor's wife, who is now as expert on the CAP. I thought the Japanese were reserved but there is a picture on Brynle's phone of the old rascal with his great hairy arms around all the Japanese ladies, including the Ambassador's wife. Brynle is obviously the Brad Pitt of the Welsh farming world.
Interestingly, the only thing that the Ambassador wants is for Wales to vote for the holding of the next but two Rugby World Cup in Japan. I was disgusted that the next but one World Cup is not being held there. I noticed that Roger Lewis, the new Chief Executive of the Welsh Rugby Union was there . I hope he was listening.