Further development of cultural-humanitarian cooperation between Ukraine and Japan greatly contribute to the strengthening of bilateral relations.
In 2018 the Embassy of Ukraine in Japan and Ukrainian community representatives took part in various international cultural festivals such as “Global Citizen Festa 2018 in Odawara” (Odawara, Kanagawa prefecture, 25th of February); “Minato City World Carnival” (Tokyo, 25th of March) and “Global Festa Japan 2018” in the framework of the GUAM countries stand (Tokyo, 29th of September). During the course of the aforementioned festivals, exhibitions of Ukrainian traditional art, mini lectures on history and culture of Ukraine, as well as familiarization and tasting of Ukrainian cuisine and performances by Ukrainian ensembles took place.
On the occasion of the 27th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence a photo exhibition dedicated to Ukraine took place in the “World Trade Center Building” business center in Tokyo (26th of September - 30th of October). The exhibition introduced popular tourist attractions, historical landmarks, landscapes, traditional wares and national cuisine of our country.
The Embassy of Ukraine in Japan in cooperation with Minato city administration, Ukrainian and Japanese singers and artists, Ukrainian community in Japan “Krayany” and Ukrainian school in Tokyo “Dzhereltse” held “Ukraine Week” from November 21st until 30th at Akasaka Civil Center in Tokyo. In the framework of the aforementioned event there were held an exhibition of Ukrainian art, which presented Ukrainian ceramics, Petrykivka painting, traditional rag dolls, pysankas, as well as paintings of Ukrainian sceneries; presentation about Ukraine; screening of the short film “Dyakuyu”; traditional rag dolls and Ukrainian embroidery workshops, as well as concert of Ukrainian-Japanese friendship with the participation of Ukrainian bandura musician and opera singer O.Stepanyuk, pianist R.Kabata, violinist C.Sawada and opera singer M.Tanaka, who were joined by performers of Ukrainian school in Tokyo “Dzhereltse”.
With the goal of preparation to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games a series of events were carried out within the framework of the “Cultural Olympics”.
In the framework of Ukraine’s participation in the project “Imagine One World Kimono” Japanese kimono with Ukrainian motives was created in order to be exhibited during the course of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. In this context, Ambassador of Ukraine to Japan visited the workshop of M.Ota - artist of Ukrainian kimono - in Kanazawa (Ishikawa Prefecture) in November this year. On December 23rd, the Japanese kimono with Ukrainian design was presented in Tokyo. The spouse of Ambassador of Ukraine Mrs. Mariia Kharchenko attended reception on the occasion of the Birthday of the Emperor of Japan held at the Imperial Palace wearing the kimono.
The Embassy of Ukraine provided assistance to the organizers of the “Paralym Art” World Cup - the contest for artists with disabilities- with the goal of including the representatives of Ukraine as participants. One of the winners - H.Barezueta from Peru, was awarded by the Embassy of Ukraine for his work “Máscara de la Diablada” (27th of August).
Ukraine-Japan art exchange received further development this year.
From February 2nd until May 20th an exhibition devoted to the Okiagari Koboshi “Kawai” project was held in the Meiji University, during which results of the project founder T.Kenzo’s activities in Ukraine were presented.
The Embassy of Ukraine in Japan held presentation of manga paintings of the Ukrainian military by Japanese artist Natsume (14th of March), as well as joint exhibition of Ukrainian artist Z.Skoropadenko and Japanese artist from Fukushima T.Suzuki "Chernobyl and Fukushima Landscapes and Flowers” (22nd of March - 30th of October).
An exhibition of guernica prepared by Ukrainian children from Slavutych as well as demonstration of Japanese Okiagari Koboshi dolls was held in Hiroshima within the framework of “ Peace & Art & Music” project (2nd - 6th of August). The Ambassador of Ukraine to Japan took part in the opening ceremony of the project.
With the assistance of the Embassy of Ukraine in Japan an exhibition of Japanese artist K.Sato “Hold on, Fukushima!” was held at the cultural center of the Fukushima Prefecture.
On the 18th of October, “Fashion Experiment 01” - event aimed at popularization of Ukrainian fashion - was held in Tokyo by “Ukraine Fashion Week”.
On 7-9 of December the “Exhibition to support victims of Great East Japan Earthquake” with participation of Ukrainian artist Z.Skoropadenko was held in Soma city, Fukushima Prefecture.
On 3rd of March, “Aoyama Music Award” ceremony was held in Kyoto with the participation of the Ambassador of Ukraine to Japan. One of the winners of the contest was Ukrainian pianist O.Hryniuk.
Tours of Ukrainian ensembles and visits of cultural activists to Japan were carried out.
The Embassy of Ukraine supported tours of Ukraine National Opera and Ballet Theatre in Japan, concert of tenors and baritones “SONG’s” with participation of Ukrainian opera singer E.Kapitula in Iwama (Tottori prefecture) on the 29th of July, joint concerts of famous Ukrainian violinist O.Krysa and Japanese violinist C.Sawada in Tokyo on 16th of June and 1st of September, “The 7th National Classical Ballet Competition in Hirakata” held in Osaka Prefecture on the 8th of August, as well as series of cultural and artistic events with participation of Ukrainian bandurists O.Stepaniuk and N.Hudziy.
Cooperation in the sphere of education has been intensified.
On 21st of March, with assistance and active participation of the Embassy of Ukraine in Japan the Agreement on cooperation and student exchange was signed between the Odesa National University of I.I.Mechnickov and the Toyama University of International Studies. The student exchange based on this agreement has begun in October of 2018.
The visit of the Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine Dr. L.Hrynevych to Japan took place from 6th to 9th of October 2018. During the visit the Minister participated in the ”Science and Technology in Society Forum” (Kyoto), visited Hiyoshidai Elementary School (Yokohama) and held meeting with newly appointed Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan H.E. M.Shibayama.
The Embassy of Ukraine in Japan carried out a series of educational events and exhibitions regarding historical and modern background of Ukraine.
In cooperation with the Faculty of Economics of the Kobe Gakuin University, the Embassy organized and held international conference “Ukraine: Challenges and Achievements” on 25th of October 2018. The participants of the conference, including students and professors of the Kobe Gakuin University as well as representatives of Ukrainian community of Kansai region, had the opportunity to listen to reports of experienced international experts and diplomats, including professor of the Kobe Gakuin University Y.Okabe, former Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan K.Hamada, former Ambassadors of Japan to Ukraine K.Amae and Y.Kurokawa. The panelists acknowledged that Ukraine faces an enormous challenge of implementation of internal reforms aimed at transition from communist to democratic system, especially against the backdrop of armed aggression by the Russian Federation, which is unprecedented in modern history. At the same time, they noted that despite all the difficulties, in recent years Ukraine has achieved certain results in this direction.
The Embassy conducted exhibitions devoted to: Heavenly Hundred Heroes (Tokyo, 26-28th of March 2018); Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine (Kobe Gakuin University, Kobe, 25th of October - 26th of November 2018), and The Revolution of Dignity (Kobe Gakuin University, Kobe, 26th of October - 26th of November 2018).
An important event in Ukraine-Japan cultural life is a mutual rewarding of cultural activists and diplomats with the government awards.
In 2018 the Order of the Rising Sun was accorded to the first Ambassador of Ukraine to Japan M.Dashkevich (1995-1999) for personal contribution to development of bilateral Ukrainian-Japanese relations, as well as to General Director and artistic director of Shevchenko State Opera and Ballet Theatre P.Chupryna for considerable contribution to cooperation between Japan and Ukraine.
From the Ukrainian side, Ambassador of Japan to Ukraine S.Sumi was awarded with the Order of Merit of the second class for the considerable contribution to Ukrainian-Japanese relations.