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Ambassador of Japan to Georgia Speaks About 30 Years of Diplomatic Relations

Friday, August 5, 2022
30 years ago today, on August 3, 1992, we established diplomatic relations between Japan and Georgia, so today, to celebrate this milestone, both in Tokyo and Tbilisi we have exchanged letters between our respective Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers. In both letters we congratulated each other on this important day, reviewing achievements in economic, political, and cultural fields, and expressing hope for strengthening relations in the future.

The messages have been twofold:

1. Japan and Georgia are important and strong partners, sharing fundamental values and cooperating to establish and strengthen free and open international order, based on the rule of law and

2. We have significant potential for further enhancement of our relations.

To further comment on the 30th anniversary of our diplomatic relations - Japan has been strongly supporting Georgia's independence and territorial integrity from the first day of independence. We consider Georgia's success - our success. The progress achieved over 30 years is significant and I'd like to celebrate this huge progress together. At the same time, we are facing huge challenges - especially, as we have witnessed the war in Ukraine, and we have continued occupation of two territories in Georgia. In this regard, we need to enhance cooperation to promote rules-based international order. We have been doing this in international forums - such as in the UN; for example, we have co-sponsored Georgia's proposal for UN General Assembly - resolution on IDPs; we have also worked together to refer the case of the Russian invasion in Ukraine to the international criminal court; so we are closely coordinating our response to the war in Ukraine.

There is also another challenge - bringing more Japanese companies to Georgia. We are already seeing increasing interest, for example, Japanese energy giant - TEPCO has made an investment in the Dariali power plant near Kazbegi mountain, close to the Russian border. But we want to bring more investments in the field of renewable energy and bring more of the Japanese technology for energy saving, to reduce emissions. In particular, this is important because Japan and Georgia share the common goal of reducing emissions of greenhouse gas and coming closer to decarbonized society. We are now discussing with the Georgian government how to create a favorable environment for bringing such technology to Georgia.

Lastly, I'd like to touch upon cultural affairs - talking about Georgian culture in Japan, of course, we need to mention Sumo wrestlers such as Tochinoshin - who has been acting as an ambassador of Georgia in sports: many people in Japan discovered Georgia through Tochinoshin. And of course - thanks to your ambassador in Tokyo, Georgia's culture - especially wine and food especially, are becoming known to the Japanese people.

As for the Japanese culture, the Japanese language and animation are becoming popular in Georgia - we are celebrating this 30th anniversary by organizing a series of cultural events. We have already done Sakura planting in Tbilisi, Kutaisi, and other parts of Georgia - one of them in the botanical garden, Messenger wrote about it as well. This year we have done a tea ceremony in the Botanical Garden and another one in Batumi. We had pianists visiting from Japan, who performed in Tbilisi and Batumi. We would like to invite your readers to the Sushi exhibition opening on August 12, which will continue for five weeks - we're hoping many people will visit it after summer vacation.

It's interesting that people always think of Sushi as only something to eat - but this exhibition is about Sushi culture, Sushi history, Sushi business - anything related to Sushi, which can be interesting to Sushi lovers in Georgia.

On September 1-3 there will be Animation Festival in Nikozi village, Gori Municipality and we will be showing Japanese anime on September 2nd, called "In the Corner of the World". It is about war and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima - it is an award-winning animation in Japan, subtitled in Georgian. This is significant, in the background of the war on Ukraine and Russia's threat to use nuclear weapons. We strongly protest it, so for the young generation in Georgia especially, this film is worth viewing to understand the devastating effect of the atomic bombing and the immense suffering it brings. That's our plan for cultural events.