Minister of Culture Simonas Kairys: the 100th anniversary of friendship between Lithuania and Japan next year will strengthen cultural relations


2021 12 09


The meeting today between the Minister of Culture Simonas Kairys and the newly appointed Ambassador of Japan Ozaki Tetsu focused on the 100th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, which will be marked in 2022, and on the discussion about its most important events.

The Minister of Culture informed the ambassador about the office of Cultural Attaché in Japan, which has been established this year; applications for this position will open early next year. Kairys also expressed delight about fruitful bilateral cooperation and hoped that the centennial of diplomatic relations between the two countries will only strengthen it, just like Kaunas, which will become the European Capital of Culture next year: a significant portion of its event programme is devoted to Japan and its culture. Plans for events in Kaunas next spring include Japan Days, an exhibition of Japanese and Lithuanian modern textile art, and a Kaunas architecture festival Rytai-Rytai (East-East). The Sugihara House is planning to organise and outdoor exposition which introduces the history of the Vice-Consul of Japan Chiune Sugihara and the Honorary Consul of the Netherlands Jan Zwartendijk. In November, there are plans to hold events dedicated to the 100th anniversary of diplomatic relations at the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania and the Lithuanian National Museum of Art (an exhibition of books and documents and a programme of cultural events).

Japan’s cooperation with European cultural and arts organisations as well as European Capitals of Culture is sponsored by the non-governmental organisation EU Japan Fest, which has been operating since 1992. Over this time period, it has contributed to and supported over 40 programmes of the European Capitals of Culture.

This year the cultural links between Lithuania and Japan have been strengthen by joint projects in music, cinema, literature, photography, and fine arts all around Lithuania.

Since arriving to Vilnius two months ago, the Ambassador of Japan Ozaki Tetsu has admitted that he senses the history, language and culture of our country every day.