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Italy-Japan – 150 years of bilateral relations

With the opening of the two exhibitions “Botticelli and His Time” at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum and “Leonardo Da Vinci: Beyond the Visible” at the Edo Tokyo Museum, the schedule of events organised to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the start of diplomatic relations between Italy and Japan begins tomorrow. A full programme that ranges from art to music, from research and technology to economic , commercial relations and sport. The calendar of events is presented by the Italian ambassador in Tokyo, Domenico Giorgi, who during a press conference explained the many initiatives promoted throughout Japan, stressing the vast range of sectors involved, with 10 major exhibitions and more than 20 museums involved, 6 international conferences, 4 tours and concerts, meetings and laboratories of scientific cooperation, sports events and events promoting the Italian lifestyle. The events on the programme include a musical tour by the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra, conducted by maestro Riccardo Muti and the La Scala Theatre Ballet together with the concerts of maestro Maurizio Pollini. The focus is also on Made in Italy, with several events, including the “Festa italiana” in Tokyo and a food and wine promotion campaign organised by Jet that will involve 1,500 Italian restaurants and more than 7 thousand commercial businesses throughout Japan. Finally, there will be no shortage of sport, with various initiatives involving cycling, football and also horse riding.

150 years of relations

Some  150 characters from the worlds of culture, academia, economics and sports, journalists and organisers of the main events scheduled, took part in the press conference, with various contributions by important representatives of Japanese society. The commissioner of the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Masanori Aoyagi, was present. In the message sent for the press conference, Italy’s  Foreign Minister, Paolo Gentiloni, recalled that since the signing of the treaty in August 1866, “relations between the two countries have developed constantly, drawing first and foremost on cultural and commercial exchanges and extending, thereafter, to all sectors of  bilateral collaboration”. Today too, the head of Italian diplomacy stressed, Italy and Japan are called to address “matters that to a large extent are similar on an economic, social and demographic level, both finding themselves involved in an important reform action”. Mr Gentiloni therefore greeted the “envisaged succession in the G7 between the current Japanese presidency and the future Italian presidency” as an opportunity to “further reinforce the shared commitment” in order to guarantee “peace, stability and prosperity”.