Digitalization of cultural values is an important accomplishment, Ambassador Yoshihiro Katayama

The people of Moldova have a very rich culture and vast and artistic resources that have to be passed to the future generations,” the Ambassador of Japan in Chisinau Yoshihiro Katayama stated in an interview for IPN News Agency.

For these reasons too, on February 23, on the National Day of Japan, “together with our Moldovan partners we opened the National Digitization Center at the National Library of the Republic of Moldova, which would preserve the large collections of the library in the digital format and thus make them accessible not just to all the Moldovans, regardless of where they live, but to the entire globe. The project was possible thanks to a 400,000 U.S. dollars grant by Japan, and I am happy we could make this important contribution,” said the diplomat

Yoshihiro Katayama noted that travelling to Bucharest in 1981 as a young diplomat in training was his first ever trip outside of Japan, and it was really his dream come true. “As I was learning Romanian, already then, in the eighties, I had another dream – to visit Moldova, where the same language was spoken.”

For their part, the Moldovans come closer to the Japanese culture by learning the language of the people of Japan. “As to the Japanese language in Moldova, our important partner is the Foundation for Moldo-Japanese Relations, where about 125 persons study the Japanese language annually. What is indeed inspiring is that, as the President of the Foundation Mr. Valeriu Binzaru says, the interest that Moldovans have for studying the Japanese is much larger than the capacity of the Foundation. Thus, we have been trying to support them as much as we can – in 2020, for example, we offered 75,000 U.S. dollars to the institution to improve their educational facilities, so that the students enjoy a better learning experience.”

In another development, the official said he was very happy to see that the Japanese cars in general, and not only Toyota, are a popular choice of Moldovans. “What also surprised me is that many Moldovans know about Sakura flowers. This symbol is very special to the Japanese, and the season of Sakura blossoming is approaching. Regarding the symbols of Moldova, last summer, when I went back to Tokyo, I visited several prestigious wine stores, and I was very pleased to see Moldovan wines there. This shows that the wines of Moldova started to enter the market of Japan and there are already lovers of Moldovan wines among the Japanese people”.

Asked what the most beautiful time of the year is in Japan, the diplomat said that all seasons are beautiful in Japan. “The Japanese archipelago stretches over 3,000 km so the nature is unique in each region, from cold and beautiful Hokkaido in the north to tropical Okinawa in the south.”

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