TOKYO, July 27 (Itar-Tass) —— Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba said Russian culture enjoys high popularity in his country.
Ahead of his visit to Russia, which begins on Friday, the Japanese foreign minister gave an exclusive interview to Itar-Tass. During his stay in Russian, Koichiro Gemba will meet with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov to discuss the entire range of bilateral relations and the international situation.
“I first visited Russian in 1998 as a member of a delegation from the foreign affairs commission of the parliamentary house of representatives,” he said. “I remember the frank discussion we had with members of the Russian State Duma on aspects of Japenese-Russian relations.” He also recalled his participation in the 2007 Moscow session of the Asia Pacific parliamentary forum. “The opening ceremony was held at the Bolshoi Theatre – we saw the Swan Lake and the Nutcracker and I was touched by their beauty. I still remember the delicious taste of the Russian cuisine we were treated in the Kremlin,” he noted.
“People in Japan deeply respect the Russian culture. For instance, there were more than ten translations of Dostoyevsky’s Brothers Karamazov,” he said. “I think no country in the world may boast so many translations of Russian literature.” He also noted that Russian children’s literature and animated film character Cheburashka has been enjoying high popularity among the Japanese youth in the recent years. “I hear that Japanese animation films are very popular in Russia. And the youth is what matters most because it is our future. I hope youth exchanges between our countries will only grow,” he added.