On December 4th 2012, the Embassy of Japan in the State of Israel hosted a reception on the occasion of Japan’s National Day and celebrating 60 years of bilateral relations with Israel.
Japanese Ambassador Hideo Sato welcomed honorary guest President of the State of Israel Shimon Peres as well as members of diplomatic missions in Israel and other distinguished guests. Speaking in Hebrew, the Japanese Ambassador addressed the public in a cheerful and amicable manner.
During his speech, President Peres congratulated His Majesty the Emperor of Japan on his birthday, while also congratulating his people on their National day.
The head of State stressed the importance of Japanese-Israeli bilateral relations, reminding the audience that “Japan was among the first Asian countries to recognize Israel, 60 years ago, and Israel was the first Mediterranean country to recognize Japan”. This friendship, President Peres added, extends not only to matters of State, but to Israelis as well, who admire Japanese traditions and its way of life.
Japan has overcome many challenges and did so thanks to its people, the President explained, “It is you that have enriched a refusing geography and became one of the greatest economies of our time. Others had natural gifts, but your gift is your people”. This is a similarity Japan has with Israel, he continued, as Israel was too challenged by its environment and its neighbors; which is why there is a feeling of admiration towards the people of Japan who have strived through many catastrophes both natural and man induced, doing so with “great hope, dignity and character”.
Regarding peace in the Middle East, President Peres noted that Japan has contributed greatly with important ideas. One of such ideas has been the corridor of peace and development in Jericho, which was supported by Israel and which is now “one of the most important and successful endeavors in the Middle east in order to contribute to peace” notably improving relations between the Jewish State and the Palestinians.
Finally, the Israeli President concluded “I see our relations as a call of hope and that is the promise of the future.” After the protocol, the Israeli National Anthem was sang by all.
The reception was only one of the events planned by the Embassy of Japan in Israel to commemorate their National Day. The Japanese Embassy has organized nearly 40 cultural events coordinating with the Chamber of Commerce and several municipalities and institutions across Israel. From traditional exhibitions of Japanese music, theater and arts to modern dance and fashion, the events allow people to observe a broad panorama of what both the ancestral and modern Japan has to offer.
photos by SilviaGolan