I am happy to dedicate this event to the 100th Anniversary of the Romania-Japan Diplomatic Relations. The opening of the Romanian Legation in Tokyo, in 1921, marks the official beginning of the diplomatic relations between our countries and since then, Romania and Japan have enjoyed a close relationship, based on shared values of freedom, democracy and respect for human rights. Today we continue to develop and expand our cooperation and reach a new stage in our bilateral relation: establishing a strategic partnership between our countries. 

Since this year Romania also celebrates 140 years since the birth of its most renowned composer, George Enescu, I would like to emphasize the important role that the cultural exchanges, especially in the field of music have had in building our friendly relations.

Japan-Romanian Music Society has been a key contributor in the development of our cultural exchangesby actively promoting Romanian music and composers in Japan. I was happy to recognize on many occasions Romanian popular musical pieces or classical compositions interpreted by the laureates of The Romanian International Music Competition. I am proud to see that The Romanian International Music Competitionhas reached 15 editions and along the years has developed related events such as the Romania Themed Exhibition and the Junior Competition – known as Akasaka Junior Music Competition.

I would like to take this opportunity and express my appreciation for the role that the Japan-Romanian Music Society plays in cultivating mutual understanding, friendship, people to people exchanges and bringingRomanian music and culture to a broader audience.