Foreign Minister thanks Japanese guests for their exceptional attention to Lithuania
On 5 July in Vilnius, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius met with the Governor of Gifu Prefecture in Japan Hajime Furuta. The Japanese official will receive the state award from the hands of the President of Lithuania during a solemn ceremony on 6 July.
“I believe that people-to-people contacts are key to maintaining a strong partnership between Lithuania and Japan. Thus, we welcome the excellent initiative of the Gifu Prefectural Government to organize the “Lithuania NOW” festival, presenting the culture of Lithuania in Japan,” said L. Linkevičius.
Lithuania’s Foreign Minister thanked the Gifu Prefectural Government for all the support to projects aiming at preserving the heritage of the Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara in Lithuania and in Japan, as well as for the involvement in the events of Sugihara Week in Kaunas. The Gifu Prefecture contributes to the preservation of the Chiune Sugihara memorial museum in Kaunas. The Japanese Consulate was located in the Sugihara House in the interwar period. The Sugihara Week events have been held annually in the Gifu Prefecture since 1992, while the first Sugihara Week in Kaunas took place in 2017.
Participants of the meeting also highlighted Gifu Prefecture’s successful cooperation with the Kaunas City Municipality. In February 2019, the Mayors of Kaunas and Yaku signed a cooperation agreement between the two cities. Educational institutions of both municipalities have enjoyed intensive cultural exchange and cooperation even before the signing of the formal agreement.
At the end of 2017, the Gifu-Lithuania Friendship Association was founded by representatives of the Gifu academic community, business, culture and science, and the media. The first “Lithuania NOW” festival in the Gifu Prefecture was held in 2018. In total, more than 10,000 people visited cultural and tourism events. This year, the Gifu Prefecture organizes the “Lithuania NOW” festival again.