Participation to the opening ceremony of the 150th anniversary of the Japan-Belgium Friendship by Mr. Yoji Muto, Parliamentary State Minister of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Yoji Muto, State Minister of Foreign Affairs, attended the opening ceremony of the 150th anniversary of the Japan-Belgium Friendship which was held at the Egmont Palace in Brussels, from 4pm, January 19th (0am, January 20th in Japan time) for approximately 3 hours.
- Many VIPs attended the ceremony including Mr. Herman Van Rompuy, Friendship Ambassador of the 150th Anniversary of Japan-Belgium Friendship (former President of the European Council), Mr. Didier Reynders, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs, Mr. Kris Peeters, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Employment, Economy and Consumer Affairs, in charge of Foreign Trade, as well as Mrs. Cecile Jodogne, State Secretary of the Brussels-Capital Region.
- State Minister Muto touched upon the cordial relations between Japan and Belgium in his speech (PDF) , and expressed his intention to further develop the bilateral relations.
- A memorial lecture on the history of the bilateral relations was also given by Professor Willy Vande Walle, professor emeritus of the Catholic University of Louvain.
- In a reception organized as the second session of the ceremony, the kick-off of the 150th anniversary of Japan-Belgium friendship was celebrated on a large scale with a performance by the Kitanodai Gagaku Ensemble, a team of “gagaku” (Japanese traditional music and dance), speeches by people who involved themselves in the Japan-Belgium relations, and the “kagami-wari” (breaking of the lid of a sake barrel by a wooden mallet.