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Annual Festival of Russian Culture kicks off in Japan to bridge political divides

Both Russian and Japanese musicians and singers will perform at the unveiling concert that will feature works by Sergey Rachmaninoff, Modest Mussorgsky, Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov and Pyotr Tchaikovsky

TOKYO, April 22./TASS/. The annual Festival of Russian Culture in Japan has opened with a concert of soloists from St. Petersburg’s House of Music at Tokyo’s Kioi Hall, TASS reports from the site.

"In preparing the festival, we tried to make it as broad in scope as possible, meeting the most diverse interests of art and culture aficionados here in Japan," Russian Ambassador to Japan Nikolay Nozdryov said in his welcoming speech. "This year's program includes film screenings, performances from leading ballet dancers, theatrical productions and concerts by classical music virtuosos to name but a few," the diplomat went on to say.

"The festival has gone through difficult coronavirus times. I am sure that together we will weather the current turbulence in world politics and economy, and the festival will continue to fulfill its important role - to help strengthen respectful and trust-based relations between our peoples," Nozdryov stressed.

Both Russian and Japanese musicians and singers will perform at the unveiling concert that will feature works by Sergey Rachmaninoff, Modest Mussorgsky, Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov and Pyotr Tchaikovsky.

Hideo Nagatsuka, chairman of the Japanese organizing committee for the Festival and head of the Russian Arts company, told TASS that interest in Russian cultural events in Japan has not faded despite the currently thorny bilateral relations. "Under the slogan 'Art has no politics and music has no borders' we decided to continue to bring heart-stirring Russian art to the Japanese people. Everyone recognizes that art in Russia is excellent, including ballet, classical music, theater and cinema, and the Japanese people will never lose interest in it," he added.

The Festival of Russian Culture has been held in Japan since 2006. It has covered all 47 Japanese prefectures, and over 11,000 artists from Russia having performed within its framework. According to the Japanese Foreign Ministry, the festival has become a traditional event that introduces ballet, music, theater, circus and other arts to the country's citizens. Its audience has already exceeded 23 million people over these years.