22 December 2010
MUSCAT — The Sultanate of Oman and Japan reiterated their desire to strengthen two-way ties, particularly in the heritage and cultural field, at the opening of an ‘Oman Cultural Week’ in Tokyo on Monday.
The event is being held to mark the Gulf state’s 40th National Day. Key officials pointed out that both the countries attached considerable importance to preserving their cultural inheritance and civilisation.
The event, which will last until December 26, was inaugurated by Princess Takamado in the presence of Salim bin Mohammed Al Mahrooqi, Under-secretary at the Ministry of Heritage and Culture, Khalid bin Hashel bin Mohammed Al Masalhi, Oman’s Ambassador to Japan and other Omani and Japanese dignitaries.
The Princess, in a speech, referred to the setting up of a ‘His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Chair for Middle East Studies’ recently at the Tokyo University. She said events such as the cultural week would reinforce “cooperation and friendship between the two friendly countries.”
Also on the occasion, the Omani Embassy released the Japanese edition of the book ‘Reformer on the Throne: Qaboos bin Said - Sultan of Oman’ written by Russian author Sergei Plekhanov.
Mahrooqi said the strong Omani-Japanese relations were based on a joint conviction in the importance of safeguarding heritage and culture, adding that the cultural week was as reflection of the sultanate’s interest in promoting ties with Japan.
He said Oman had always been a cultural hub and established relations with various civilisations across the world. There had been contacts between the sultanate and Japan throughout the centuries, he added, and stressed Japan’s “cultural and civilisational abundance that represents a distinguished model of excellence between the ancient traditions and modernity, development and advancement.”
Masalhi, the Omani Ambassador, continuous efforts by both countries had succeeded in promoting bilateral cultural to a high level, also noting that the embassy had organised several events and seminars that aimed at spreading awareness among the Japanese people about the sultanate, its history and modern development.
Later, Princess Takamoda and the other guests toured an exhibition titled ‘Originality and Modernity’ portraying Oman’s history and culture and its progress in the past 40 years. Also on display are models of Omani castles and forts and ancient Omani ships, manuscripts, sculptures and woodworks highlighting the sultanate and Japan’s culture, traditional Omani costumes from the different regions and collections of books on Oman and Oman-Japanese relations.