Ambassador Sumi’s message on conclusion of the Year of Japan in Ukraine

  Today, on December 31, the Year of Japan in Ukraine, which lasted throughout this year, has come to its conclusion. Since the Year of Japan was initiated by the Presidential decree, I would like to express my gratitude to the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko for his special attention to Japan. In response to the idea of President Poroshenko, Government of Japan, Embassy of Japan in Ukraine and other partners, in cooperation with the Ukrainian side carried out many events and activities.

  First of all, it is worth mentioning such an amazing campaign as planting of 1,600 sakura trees in almost 30 cities of Ukraine. I am delighted with the many events in honor of the Year of Japan, as many cities held the Days of Japan, and especially impressive is that they were celebrated even in the city affected by conflict like Sievierodonetsk in Luhansk region.

  As for the cultural part, the concert of Japanese drummers, led by Eitetsu Hayashi, ‘joruri’ the Japanese dolls theater, concert of the pianist Fuzjko Hemming, tea ceremony demonstration and many more events were held. In addition, among the events there were presented not only traditional, but also modern culture of Japan, namely, master classes and exhibitions of manga artists. In the art space of Mystetskyi Arsenal an exhibition "Imaginary Traveler. Japan" was held for more than one month beggining from November. It became especially popular, as it demonstrated the traditional culture and contemporary art of Japan. The opening of this event with the participation of the President of Ukraine and his wife was a significant success. Also in the field of sports, Japanese judoists held a demonstration. The final event of the Year of Japan in Ukraine on December 22, was the 3D-mapping show at Sofiivska Square and gained great popularity.
The Year of Japan in Ukraine was not limited to a cultural component. The visit of delegation of the Japanese business federation "Keidanren" to Kyiv, many lectures by diplomatic experts, the official visit of Ukrainian Paliamentary Speaker Andrii Parubii to Japan and many more events took place. It is especially worth noting that due to the Year of Japan, JICA  opened its office in Ukraine and starting from January 1, 2018 relaxation of visa requirements for Ukrainian citizens will be implemented.

  I am extremely glad that the Government and citizens of Ukraine have also been actively involved in the celebration of the Year of Japan in Ukraine, by holding various exhibitions on Japanese culture and creating a number of films, books and displaying TV programs about Japan.

  Even though December 31 means that the Year of Japan has come to its end, I believe that based on this year's great achievments, the relations between Japan and Ukraine will continue to develop next year.

  Once again, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to President Poroshenko for the initiative of holding the Year of Japan in Ukraine and I am also very happy to spend this wonderful year together with the people of Ukraine.
Taking the opportunity, I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year!