TOKYO, December 19. /TASS/. Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida hopes organisation of various exchange programmes with Russia, including the Festival of Russian Culture, will develop mutual understanding of the two nations, will give an impetus to development of their relations.
His address was voiced at the closing ceremony of the Russian Culture Festival in Tokyo on Saturday.
"I would like to express hope an active organisation of exchanges, including the festival fo Russian culture in Japan, will result in a deeper understanding of each other between the Japanese and the Russians, to mutual approaches, thus giving a bigger impetus to development of the Japan-Russia relations," the address reads.
"In Tokyo, Osaka, Sapporo, Fukuoka and other cities were organised different events, which I welcome as useful from the point of view of deeper understanding between people in Japan and Russia, promoting development of the bilateral relations," the Japanese foreign minister said. "In order to improve the relations between countries, mutual understanding between people is essential. From this point of view, the Japanese foreign ministry organises cultural, sports, youth and other exchange programmes with Russia."
Over the recent ten years, he said, "the festival has become a traditional event, which presents to the Japanese audience the ballet, music, theatre, circus and other kinds of the outstanding Russian culture."
Russia’s presidential envoy on the international cultural cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoi voiced a welcome and greeting address by the speaker of the Russian State Duma, Sergei Naryshkin.
"Head of the Russian organising committee Sergei Naryshkin asks to greet you, the Japanese audience, as we believe our people are connected closely by historic and deep cultural, as well as human ties," the envoy said. "I would like to welcome you, the wonderful audience, which decided on this wonderful sunny day to come to the theatre, and we are very pleased about it."
The festival of Russian culture in Japan is organised annually since 2006. Organisers say this year over 652,000 attended the events, and over the ten years’ history - over 13 million.
"Various events took place in 40 of Japan’s 47 prefectures," the organising committee told TASS. "About 900 representatives of the Russian culture participated in them between June and December: actors, musicians, artists, cinematographers, arts experts. The festival is very popular among the audience."
This year’s festival focused on the youth. In 92 cities were organised concerts of Russian musicians, including folk music groups, arts exhibitions, film and cartoon festivals. The Big Moscow Circus performed at the festival in Japan for the fifth year running. In November, the tour of the Mariinsky Theatre was a success.
The finale of the festival would be the Nutcracker performed by the Leonid Yakobson Ballet Theatre (St. Petersburg).
"Cultural exchanges are among the most dynamically developing aspects of Russian-Japanese ties," the Russian foreign ministry said in September commenting on Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida’s visit to Russia. "The people of both countries have tremendous mutual interest in each other’s cultures, and they are finding many points of contact here. The annual festival of Russian culture in Japan, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year, has a mutually approved programme until 2021.".