A four-day festival in Tokyo will mark the beginning of the 150th anniversary of Japan–Switzerland ties. According to Swiss Ambassador Urs Bucher, the festival will be the beginning of a year-long celebration of the anniversary. Numerous events are scheduled, which will feature Swiss culture.
The celebration aims to provide a wider perspective and knowledge of the country and its people. Speaking in a phone interview, Bucher said “It is very important to celebrate this special moment marking 150 years of friendship, and we wanted to make the events very open to the Japanese public to spread Swiss culture to a wider group.” A festival on February 6-9 called “Swissdays,” which will be held at the Roppongi Hills Arena, will mark the opening of the year’s events. The Swiss President Didier Burkhalter will be there personally to launch the affairs, which features live performances of Swiss artists, Swiss food display, traditional Schwingen wrestling and a lights show at night.
The two nations signed a Treaty of Friendship and Commerce in 1864 just as Japan opened its doors to the outside world. Since then, the two nations have enjoyed healthy trade and cultural relations. Japan even made an animated adaptation of “Heidi” by Swiss author Johanna Spyri. Bucher hopes that with the two nations having the same values of hard work, innovation, equality and respect for each other, such will reinforce their relationship moving forward.
[via Global Post]