Russia National Day Tokyo Embassy

Celebrating Russia Day at the Russian Embassy in Tokyo

On the occasion of Russia Day, the Charge d’Affaires a.i. of the Russian Federation in Japan, Mr. Gennadii Ovechko, invited guests of state, the diplomatic community of Japan, and compatriots of Russia, as well representatives of industry and commerce, to the Russian Embassy in Tokyo.

At the opening speech, Mr. Ovechko explained the importance of Russia Day — that this day is “not only the starting point of modern Russia as a nation, but also a symbol of the origins and development” of the country.

He emphasized it unites multi-ethnic Russia and honors the achievements of prior generations for their sacrifices in the “defense of their homeland.”

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Despite the difficult political circumstances, Mr. Ovcheko stressed that Russia is not “hostile to Japan and Japan is not hostile to Russia,” and that Russia and Japan “maintain areas of practical, equal, and mutually beneficial cooperation.” He reminded the audience that bilateral trade between these two countries “exceeded $20 billion last year, “and there is continued cooperation in areas such as energy and fisheries as well as cultural exchanges, including the annual Russian Cultural Festival.”

Following Mr. Ovechko, former Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama gave a short but meaningful speech, mentioning the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the importance of diplomacy to achieving lasting peace.

After the speeches, guests gathered in the main halls of the embassy to enjoy authentic Russian food and drinks accompanied by a local Russian duet playing Russian tunes. Even authentic Russian vodka was served.

During the festivities, the editor had a chance to meet and catch up with many ambassadors who are readers of Hersey Shiga’s “Embassy Watch” column and the Tokyo Weekender magazine.

For example, the Ambassador of Indonesia, Heri Akhmadi, discussed the progress of the new capital of Indonesia (Nusantara) and how Japanese commerce and industry are participating in the ongoing development of infrastructure and technology projects in his country.

The editor also greeted the ambassadors of Kazakhstan, South Africa, Algeria, Angola, Malawi, Cuba, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan as well as Qatar and several representatives of various embassies stationed in Japan.

The Qatari Ambassador Hassan Mohammed Rafei Al-Emadi was so kind as to invite the editor for a private meeting before the next major international sports festival to be held in Doha later this year.

Even though these are challenging political circumstances for Russia and Japan, the celebration of “Russia Day” was an opportunity to meet friends from the diplomatic corps, politicians and representatives of trade and commerce in a congenial atmosphere to reminisce the long-standing friendship of the Russian Federation with Japan and the importance of ongoing communication between countries and their representatives.

We thank the Russian Embassy in Tokyo for the invitation.

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