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On November 7, 2019, Ambassador Gediminas Varvuolis made a presentation on the European Union and Lithuania at Meiji Gakuen High School in Kita Kyushu City.
He took part in the initiative of the EU Delegation in Japan „EU comes to your school“, according to which on November 7-8, 2019, 42 diplomats from 24 EU member states, including 12 ambassadors, are planned to visit 49 schools in 27 prefectures, reaching out to around 17,000 students over two days.
G. Varvuolis in his presentation introduced European Union, its history, activities and links with Japan. He also introduced Lithuania as one of the EU member states and answered numerous questions of the students.
On November 3, 2019, Lithuania historian and book author Simonas Strelcovas led a discussion at European Literature Festival in Tokyo “Heroes' Workshop: Rethinking Sugihara’s Story as Part of Global Heritage and Memory“.
His presentation and discussion about Ch. Sugihara attracted a 150-strong Japanese audience at the italian Culture Institue in Tokyo.
Dr. S. Strelcovas' recent book “The Good, the Bad, and the Miserable“ is being translated into Japanese and will be published in Japan at the beginning of 2020.
On October 23, during the visit to Tokyo, President Gitanas Nausėda met with Tadamori Oshima, Speaker of the House of Representatives of Japan. The meeting focused on the global agenda and sustainable development goals. Intensifying relations between Lithuania and Japan, based on common democratic values, with a special focus on strengthening parliamentary and cultural relations, were discussed at the meeting.
On October 23, President Gitanas Nausėda met with Hirofumi Nakasone, Chairman of Japan-Lithuania Friendship Diet Members’ League and former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Education. During the meeting, the President thanked the politician for his contribution to fostering close bilateral relations between Lithuania and Japan and actively developing parliamentary relations.
Speech of the President of the Republic of Lithuania at the Lithuanian-Japanese Business Forum.
On October 23, President Gitanas Nausėda attended the Lithuanian-Japanese business forum where he delivered an opening speech to an abundant audience.
On October 22, President Gitanas Nausėda and First Lady Diana Nausėdienė attended the ceremony of the enthronement of Japanese Emperor Naruhito. The President and the First Lady extended congratulations to the Emperor and listened to his inaugural speech.
On the first day of the visit to Tokyo, President Gitanas Nausėda and First Lady Diana Nausėdienė met with Lithuanian honorary consuls in Japan, Chairman of Japan-Lithuania Friendship Diet Members’ League Hirofumi Nakasone, officials of the Government of Japan, former Japanese ambassadors to Lithuania and the closest friends of our country.
On October 21, during the working visit to Tokyo, President Gitanas Nausėda met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan. Political, economic, and cultural cooperation between Lithuania and Japan, as well as nuclear safety issues, were discussed at the meeting.
On September 11, 2019, Ambassador Gediminas Varvuolis met with Tadamori Oshima, Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Diet.
During the meeting, good bilateral relations between Lithuania and Japan and close parliamentary links, increasing economic cooperation and opportunities for Japanese investments in Lithuania were discussed.
Ambassador G. Varvuolis informed about deliberations at the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania to announce the year 2020 in Lithuania Ch. Sugihara year. Also, plans of Commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the issuing of Ch. Sugihara "visas for life" were discussed.
G. Varvuolis reiterated the invitation of the Speaker of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania to T. Oshima to visit Lithuania in 2020. Such a visit by the Speaker of the House of Representatives would be particularly important in the context of Ch. Sugihara year.
Mr Oshima responded that he would look for opportunities to visit Lithuania, which would depend on the parliamentary, political agenda and the timetable for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020.
Mr Varvuolis also informed the Speaker of the House of Representatives about the visit of the President of the Republic of Lithuania G. Nausėda to Japan in October, where he will attend the Ceremonies of the Enthronement of the Emperor and have bilateral meetings.
President of the Republic of Lithuania Ms. Dalia Grybauskaitė has conferred on Mr. Hajime Furuta, Governor of Gifu Prefecture, the Order for Merits to Lithuania, for his outstanding contribution to fostering close bilateral cooperation between Lithuania and Japan.
Mr. H. Furuta has received the Award in a solemn ceremony on July 6, 2019, at the President’s Office in Vilnius.
He also had a meeting with the Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Linas Linkevičius, who thanked the Governor for his exceptional attention to cooperation of Gifu with Lithuania.
On June 28, 2019, Lithuanian historian Dr. Simonas Strelcovas gave a lecture about Chiune Sugihara „Mission (Im) possible: Lithuanian Republic, War Refugees and Chiune Sugihara“ at the Lithuanian Embassy.
Dr. Simonas Strelcovas presented a broad historic context of “visas for live”, issued in 1940 in Kaunas by Japanese Vice-Consul Chiune Sugihara. Those visas, issued to war refugees, saved 6000 human lives. The lecturer answered numerous questions from the Japanese audience.
Dr. S. Streclovas, who is presently Research Fellow at Meijo University, is author of a book about Chiune Sugihara. This book is presently being translated into Japanese, and the Japanese version is expected to be published in 2020.
Ambassador G. Varvuolis opened the event with a welcome address.
On June 24-27, 2019, delegation of Seimas (Parliament) of Lithuania – Deputy Speaker Ms. I. Šiaulienė, Leader of the Opposition Ms. V. Čmilytė-Nielsen and Adviser R. Kubilienė – took part in Women Political Leaders Global Forum (WPL) Summit in Tokyo.
The delegation, accompanied by Ambassador G. Varvuolis, also had meetings with Japanese State Minister Ms. S. Katayama, METI Parliamentary Vice-Minister Ms. Y. Seki, Member of House of Representatives, former Minister of Justice Ms. Y. Kamikawa, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Mr. H. Akamatsu, Chairman of Japan-Lithuania Parliamentary Friendship League Mr. H. Nakasone and members of the League.
The delegation paid a visit to Hiratsuka, the host town of the Lithuanian Olympic team, visited sports facilities and met Mayor K. Ochiai and Chairman of the City Assembly A. Katakura.
The main topics of during meetings were women‘s empowerment and fostering of bilateral relations between Lithuania and Japan.
On June 18th, 2019, Ambassador Gediminas Varvuolis conferred the award of honor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Lithuania's Diplomacy Star – on the Director of the Japan-Lithuania Exchange Center (#JLEC) Mr. Kenjiro Tamaki.
The Mayor of Toyohashi Mr. Koichi Sahara and Toyohashi delegation members, the former Japanese Ambassador to Lithuania Ms. Kazuko Shiraishi, many JLEC members, and other friends of Lithuania attended the solemn award ceremony.
In 2011, K. Tamaki initiated the establishment of JLEC, which brings together Japanese business representatives. K. Tamaki has headed this organization since then. In recent years, K. Tamaki has significantly contributed to developing economic relations between Lithuania and Japan, promoting Lithuania's export, making the country's name known in Japan, promoting tourism, and establishing scientific contacts.
Important areas of JLEC activity include establishing and strengthening relations between municipalities of Japan and Lithuania, assisting in organizing visits of Lithuanian business missions to Japan and of Japanese business missions to Lithuania, mediating in search of new business contacts, promoting Lithuania in Japanese media and social networks, representing Lithuania at fairs and exhibitions in Japan, as well as preparing and publishing catalogs of Lithuanian exporters for international exhibitions in the Japanese language.
With its members and volunteers in various cities across Japan, JLEC plays an important role in assisting the Embassy of Lithuania - both in Tokyo and in other prefectures of Japan.
From June 12 to 16, 2019, Ambassador G. Varvuolis wa visiting Singapore, where he took part in ASEF (Asia-Europe Foundation, https://www.asef.org/) Board of Governors meeting and other bilateral meetings. In his speech, the Ambassador underlined the importance of increasing of visibility of the Foundation, particularly among the youth, and thanked ASEF for presentation of ASEF programs to Lithuanian artists, who are looking for support to their projects in Asian countries. During the meeting, attention was also paid to the reform of the Foundation and current issues.
In his meetings with Singapore headquartered international shipping and seaport infrastructure development companies Ocean Network Express Japan, Port of Singapore Authority and Portek, Ambassador Gediminas Varvuolis presented investment opportunities into Klaipeda Seaport, its expansion potential, and invited these companies to consider more active engagement in shipping activities in the Baltic Sea region. Excellent transport and logistics infrastructure, geographical centricity of Lithuania could serve as a perfect hub for Asian goods to enter EU, CIS and even further markets.
Ambassador Varvuolis also had an opportunity to meet Professor Tan Eng Chye, President of National University of Singapore, and deliver invitation to international science, innovation and business forum “Life Sciences Baltics 2020”, which will be held in Vilnius on September 30 – October 1, 2020. Strong life sciences and bio-tech sectors in both countries is an excellent stepping stone to increase mutual synergies and expand R&D cooperation.
In his meeting with the representatives of Singapore Business Federation (SBF) Ambassador Varvuolis discussed possibilities to deepen relations between business communities of both countries, and invited SBF to consider the possibility of Singaporean business mission to Lithuania in the nearest future.