President of the Republic of Lithuania

The President and the First Lady met with a Japanese delegation and the son of Chiune Sugihara

2020-02-19

President Gitanas Nausėda and First Lady Diana Nausėdienė welcomed a Japanese delegation that came to Lithuania on the occasion of the year of Chiune Sugihara. Nobuki Sugihara, son of humanist Chiune Sugihara, also attended the meeting.

Chiune Sugihara who was the Vice-consul of the Japanese consulate in 1939–1940, in Kaunas, and issued transit visas to Jews and saved more than 6000 lives. Yad Vashem center in Israel awarded him the title of the Righteous Among the Nations in 1985 for his humanistic activities. 2020 has been designated as the Year of Sugihara in Lithuania when we will commemorate the 80th anniversary of Visas for Life and 120 years since Sugihara’s birth.

The President and the First Lady received members of the Japanese delegation at the Presidential Palace, including Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Japan Isao Iijima, Honorary Consul of Lithuania in Fukuyama Shigehiro Komaru, Ambassador of Japan Shiro Yamasaki, diplomats of the Embassy, as well as senior representatives of Fukuyama Transporting Co. Ltd.

Japanese delegation made of over 200 Japanese officials and business representatives arrived by a flight chartered by the Honorary Consul of Lithuania. The flight has been referred to as the Friendship flight between Lithuania and Japan.

When meeting the Japanese delegation, the President expressed hope that the Friendship flight would become a regular direct flight linking Lithuania and Japan and the people.

The President said he was pleased with the warm and close political and economic bilateral relations that have intensified after his visit to Japan to attend the inauguration ceremony of Emperor Naruhito. Representatives of Japanese Business Federation Keidanren visited Lithuania last year and the President met with the head of Japan Bank for International Cooperation in Davos.

“Japan is Lithuania’s most important partner in Asia already. We share common values and close political, economic, cultural and historical ties. I am delighted with an opportunity I had to meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in October, and I am grateful for his contribution to promotion of bilateral cooperation,” said the President in his welcome address where he also took the opportunity to extend congratulations on the National Day of Japan.

The President stressed increasing economic cooperation between Japan and Lithuania, focusing on untapped synergies in energy, transport and logistics, food industry, life sciences, and finance.

In his speech, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Japan Isao Iijima thanked the President for his visit to Japan and for exceptional attention to his country as well as distinguished compatriots such as Chiune Sugihara and wished Lithuanian athletes all the best at the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

In response to the welcome address of the President, Honorary Consul of Lithuania Shigehiro Komaru expressed his gratitude for the President’s attention to the Japanese business community and highlighted the importance of fostering bilateral relations between Lithuania and Japan. “It is a great honor meeting you again after your visit to Japan to attend the enthronement of the Emperor. This time, I took a direct flight and brought a delegation of 185 colleagues from my company. It is my hope that this visit will help us learn more about Lithuania and strengthen bilateral bonds,” Mr. Komaru said.

The Japanese delegation presented a bonsai tree to the President and the First Lady, while the President‘s gift to the Japanese delegation was a sculpture of Vytis and Lithuanian honey.

The President‘s Communication Group

Last updated 2020.02.19 12:21

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