President Reuven Rivlin addressed a reception yesterday evening (Tuesday) hosted at Jerusalem’s King David Hotel by the Ambassador of Japan to Israel, H.E. Koji Tomita. The event celebrated 65 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

President Rivlin began by noting, “Tonight we celebrate, here in Jerusalem, 65 years of diplomatic relations between Israel and Japan,” and added, “Both our peoples have ancient souls. We were created thousands of years ago, we preserve and respect our traditions, our past. We also share a strong belief in our future but we don't take it for granted. That is why we invest so much in education. We know that a nation is only as good as its education.”

The President explained, “I heard there is a Japanese art rooted in the fifteenth century called Kintsugi, where you repair broken pottery with gloss mixed with gold. This art comes from the philosophy that looks at breakages as what makes the object even more beautiful and unique.” He noted, “Both our nations have been horribly broken, more than once. We both built ourselves back, with brushes and gold, we carry our breakages with pride, they made us stronger, smarter, they made us beautiful.”

The President added, “For 65 years, Japan and Israel have cooperated in trade and science, culture and technology, education and aviation. We hold dear this cooperation, and we look forward to making it grow even stronger,” and concluded, “I send my sincerest and respectful greetings to Emperor Akihito, and to Prime Minister Abe.”

 

 

Ambassador Tomita thanked the President for attending and addressing the celebration said, “At this historic juncture of the 65th year of diplomatic relations, I am supremely confident about our future because I know our relations are built on a strong bond between peoples, supported by much respect, affection and trust. I am looking forward to working with all of you to make this bond even stronger in the decades to come”.

The Ambassador noted the presence of some of the former Israeli ambassadors to Japan, and past recipients of the Japanese Emperor’s honors for outstanding contributions to the advancement of Japanese-Israeli friendship, as well as others with a historical connection, such as Nina Admoni, who was saved from the Nazi persecution in 1940 by the Japanese Consul in Lithuania at the time, Mr. Chiune Sugihara. Each of these guests represented the close ties between the two nations.

The celebration also included a photo exhibition featuring 20 top photos chosen from more than 130 photos submitted by Israelis to express their favorite experience in Japan. The commercial aspect was highlighted as well, with an exhibition by leading Japanese companies operating in Israel. Those in attendance included Vered Farber, CEO of the Asian Institute; Tomohiro Yoden, Managing Director of Jetro Tel Aviv; Kimito Aida of IsraTech and Treasure Inc., and translator Einat Cooper.

Photos by Silvia G. Golan