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Princess Kako of Japan attends celebration of 125th anniversary of Greek-Japanese diplomatic relations

Featured Princess Kako of Japan attends celebration of 125th anniversary of Greek-Japanese diplomatic relations

The official celebration for the 125th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Greece and Japan and the 2024 Year of Greece-Japan Culture and Tourism took place in Athens on Monday in the presence of Japan's Princess Kako of Akishino, Greek ministers, and other officials.

Princess Kako is the second daughter of the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Japan, and was an honorary invitee of the Greek state. Also present were Ministers of Culture Lina Mendoni, Tourism Olga Kefalogianni, and Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Alexandra Papadopoulou.

Addressing the Japanese princess, the Culture minister said that the celebration of the double anniversary is a way to honor "the rich past, stable present, and, mainly, the dynamic future of the two countries." She also referred to "the great love Japan has for classical Greek civilization" and cited as example the extraordinarily high number of visitors to see the exhibition on Aphrodite of Melos in 1964, when the Olympic Games were held in Tokyo. 

On the other hand, she said, "Japanese culture is widely known in Greece. We admire its fineness, its love for beauty and nature, the importance it ascribes to order and harmony, its inclination toward the arts, and the honor it shows tradition and ancestral values." Mendoni added that "under several angles, our cultures are mutually complementary. Therefore, the synergies between us cannot but produce substantive and interesting results."

A program of several events related to Greek culture is taking place in Japan currently, and Greece is awaiting the Japanese events to take place in Athens during the Culture and Tourism Year, the minister said.

Princess Kako expressed her joy to be in Greece and said she had visited the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum after her arrival on Sunday, expressing her gratitude to be able to visit the Parthenon. She mentioned that ancient Greek philosophy is taught at Japanese schools and through Aesop's Myths, which was translated nearly 400 years ago into Japanese through a third language. Ancient Greek civilization continues to inspire Japan to the present, she said, referring also the strengthening of relations between the two countries in sectors such as the arts, literature, and sports.

The princess aso mentioned the Museum of Asian Art on Corfu, which she will tour as part of her official visit to Greece, and the Faneromeni Monastery on Salamis island where Japanese conservators have worked on preserving the frescoes. She also noted the Japanese sport of judo which several ages practise at the Panhellenic Gymnastics Association facilities.

Japan and Greece have a lot of common terrain features, such as sea and dispersed islands, as well as common cultural elements such as the great focus on healthy eating based on seafood, she noted.