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Japan-Saudi 50 years

Japan-Saudi 50years

50th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Japan and Saudi Arabia

The year of 2005 cerebrates the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Saudi Arabia. During this half century, the two countries have witnessed the deepening of political, economic and cultural relations in various forms. In 2003 both governments agreed to celebrate the year 2005 in order to further promote their friendship through commemorative projects in Japan and the Kingdom. In the Kingdom, we are planning to hold various events in cooperation with Japan Foundation, JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) and JETRO (Japan Export and Trade Organization) etc. with the support from the Saudi government and organizations.

1. Seminar on Higher Education (29th January)

On 29th January, a seminar on higher education system in Japan was held at the seminar room of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, Riyadh. The lecturer was Dr. Jun Oba, Assistant Professor of Hiroshima University, Japan. Dozens of Saudi government officials and intellectuals attended the seminar and listened closely to the talk on the development of higher education systems after World War II in Japan.

2. Ikebana (Japanese Flower Arrangement) Demonstrations (16th March)

On 16th March, Ikebana Demonstration was held by the Embassy of Japan and Al-Nahda Philanthropic Society for Women at Al-Nahda's auditorium, Riyadh. Following the speeches made by Mrs. Chieko Saito, wife of Ambassador of Japan, and HRH Princess Moudy bint Khalid, Ms. Hoki Hara, a Japanese expert from Ohara School, gracefully demonstrated 10 pieces of work of flower arrangement. More than 200 Saudi ladies including princesses and businesswomen fully enjoyed the authentic art of Ikebana.

3. Horserace "Japan Cup" (1st April)

On 1st April, a horserace "Japan Cup" was held by the Equestrian Club of Riyadh at King Abdulaziz Horserace Course near Riyadh. Following the creation of the Saudi Arabian Royal Cup in Japan in1999, the Equestrian Club of Riyadh and Japan Racing Association have been reciprocating annual horserace cups since 2002. This year's race was held also as part of commemoration for the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Saudi Arabia. More than 150 visitors including Saudis, Japanese and diplomats enjoyed watching the race. The cup was awarded by HE Mr. Katsuyuki Kawai, Parliamentary Secretary (Assistant Minister) for Foreign Affairs of Japan.

4. Japanese Prints 1950-1990 Exhibition (16th - 26th April)

On 16th April, an opening reception of the Japanese Prints 1950-1990 Exhibition was held by the Embassy of Japan and the Deputy Ministry of Antiquities & Museums at National Museum, Riyadh. The exhibition consisted of 70 pieces of contemporary print in various styles, such as traditional woodblock, etching and silkscreen, created by 46 Japanese artists including world famous Mr. Shiko Munakata, Mr. Masuo Ikeda and Mr. Tadanori Yokoo. The reception was inaugurated by HH Prince Abdulaziz Al-Moqrin, Mayor of Riyadh City, and HE Mr. Yasuo Saito, Ambassador of Japan. More than 200 people, including Saudi artists and diplomats, attended the reception to appreciate the high-quality art.

5. National Karate Tournament for Youth Welfare Presidency Cup 2005

On 18th and 19th May, National Karate Tournament for Youth Welfare Presidency Cup 2005 was held by the Embassy of Japan and the Saudi Arabia Karate Federation at Al-Hilal Sports Club, Riyadh. During the tournament, the four Japanese Karate experts headed by Mr. Hideo Yamamoto, Shoto-kan school (5th grade) and the coach for Japan’s National Team, made authentic Karate performances including each school’s Kata and Kumite as well as wood-chopping.

More than 400 Saudis came to enjoy high-level competitions, participated in by over 300 players, as well as high-standard performances by the Japanese experts.

The experts also gave a session of training and instruction to Saudi Karate coaches and players on 17th May.

Commemorative Projects

January : Seminar on Higher Education at King Faisal Center for Islamic Studies (Riyadh)
March : Ikebana “Japanese Flower Arrangement” Demonstration at Al-Nahda Philanthropic Society (Riyadh)
April : A Horse Race “Japan Cup” by the Equestrian Club (Riyadh)
Exhibition “Japanese Prints 1950-1990” at National Museum
May : National Karate Tournament (Riyadh, Jeddah, Damman, Abha)
Japanese Speech Contest (Riyadh)
November  : Japan Industrial Exhibition (Riyadh)
Japanese Speech Contest (Riyadh)
December  : Japan-Saudi Youth Exchange Program

In addition, we are working to realize a Japanese Cultural Mission's visit to Saudi Arabia and Japanese Drum Performances.

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