“It is a great honor for me today to open "The Imaginary Guide: Japan" exhibition that will present Japan’s traditional and modern art to the Ukrainian viewers. It opens such a beautiful and beloved country as Japan. This event is a culmination of the Year of Japan in Ukraine,” the President said during the ceremony.
Petro Poroshenko reminded that the idea of such a large-scale project - holding the exhibition and the Year of Japan in Ukraine arose in April last year during his official visit to Tokyo. He noted that there were extremely effective negotiations with Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and an agreement was reached on economic and social ties, as well as on cultural events that will take place this year.
"I can now emphasize that in the relations between Ukraine and Japan, we have no problem issues. We have extremely bright prospects for the development of our relations," Petro Poroshenko said.
"I can emphasize that Japan is an extremely important strategic partner of Ukraine. Japan is a true friend," the President said, adding that in 2014, since the first minutes of the annexation of Crimea by Russia, Ukraine has immediately felt a reliable shoulder of a friend.
The President expressed gratitude for Japan's firm policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea, condemnation of Russia's aggression in the east of our country, support for the resolution of the UN General Assembly, co-sponsored by Japan, as well as clear and consistent adherence to the sanctions policy against Russia.
Petro Poroshenko also thanked the Japanese partners for the constant and comprehensive assistance provided in various spheres. He recalled that, together with Mr. Ambassador of Japan to Ukraine, he visited various military hospitals throughout the country, where he transferred the most up-to-date electronic medical equipment, which greatly improved the process of rehabilitation of Ukrainian heroes.
Furthermore, Japan provides large loans to address a variety of problems ranging from infrastructure projects across the country to the construction of airports. "This is also a symbol of our effective relationship," he added.
The Head of State thanked the Ambassador and the staff of the embassy for organizing the Year of Japan in Ukraine. "Performances by Japanese artists, festivals of Japanese culture, museum exhibitions and sports competitions of Kendo masters will remain in the memory of Ukrainians all over Ukraine for a long time," the President said. He also noted that every spring 2500 sakura trees flourish in many Ukrainian cities and they became symbols of a reliable and lasting Ukrainian-Japanese friendship.
Separately, the Head of State recalled the opening of a mural by a Japanese artist Kensuke Miyazaki in one of the schools of Mariupol located not far from the frontline, which repeatedly faced shelling by pro-Russian terrorist formations.
"This mural also became a symbol of Ukrainian-Japanese friendship," the President said, adding that Ukrainian children helped the Japanese artist create the mural. "And this helped them forget for some time the horrors of war, shelling, hostilities that took place next to their homes. And believe that the long-awaited peace will soon come to the Ukrainian land. This is what I, as President of Ukraine, and the lion's share of Ukrainians are striving for," the Head of State said. He added that this peace can be achieved, inter alia, with the help of peacekeepers - "blue helmets" under the mandate of the UN Security Council. "And this decision, if and when it is adopted, will also be approved with the help of our Japanese partners," Petro Poroshenko stressed.
The President emphasized that a lot of work was done during this year: "Such events contribute to the further spiritual enrichment and rapprochement of our nations overcoming a very large geographic distance. We feel that we are close. And this is a very important feeling of true friends".
The President also thanked Prime Minister of Japan Shinzō Abe, a good friend of Ukraine, for his support and congratulated him on winning the recent parliamentary elections.