Report on the 2005 EU-Japan Year of People-to-People Exchanges
Message for the 2005 EU-Japan Year Outline of the EU-Japan Year Calendar of Events List of Participating Organizations Back to the Report

Outline of the EU-Japan Year

Outline of each country

At the 11th Japan-EU Summit in July 2002, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi of Japan, Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen of Denmark (in his capacity as then President of the European Council), and then President of the European Commission Romano Prodi, agreed to designate 2005, the middle year in the "Decade of Japan-Europe Cooperation," as the EU-Japan Year of People-to-People Exchanges. Its underlying concept was "exchanges between people." We called for the implementation of wide-ranging exchange events with a view to promoting mutual understanding and long-term exchanges between Japan and 25 EU Member States.

As a result, over 1,900 events (about 450 events in Japan and about 1,450 events in 25 EU Member States) were registered and held throughout the year 2005. Organizations comprised of those concerned from administrative, economic, and academic circles as well as from various exchange-related organizations were established in 12 countries to promote the preparations and implementation of the "EU-Japan Year" in each country (13 organizations in total [Note 1]).

Opening events were held across Japan and Europe (16 countries, 19 cities) between January and March 2005 (Note 2) and were participated by a wide range of people including royal family members and heads of state.

Reflecting the diversity and closeness of Japan-Europe relations, a broad array of people ranging from children to the elderly and general public to experts and professionals participated in the various events under the "EU-Japan Year." The events expanded the range of exchanges from those on a bilateral basis to exchanges involving several neighboring countries. For example, several joint events were organized by more than one EU country, together with Japan. There were also tours of Japanese performances/exhibitions held across several EU countries. Furthermore, the recent EU enlargement with the accession of ten countries in 2004 provided a new opportunity for promoting exchange between Japan and the newly acceded countries. The EU enlargement contributed to making the "EU-Japan Year" the largest exchange year which Japan has ever held in terms of the number of participating countries and events held. The "EU-Japan Year" became a good opportunity for people to sense the diversity and achievement of EU-Japan cooperation based on a close relationship between Europe and Japan.

Closing events were held between November 2005 and February 2006 in 16 cities in 14 countries (Note 3). At the closing events, participants reviewed the outcome of the "EU-Japan Year" in each country and expressed their wish to further strengthen the EU-Japan relations based on the experience and achievements gained in the "EU-Japan Year."

Note 1: Countries which established organizations for the promotion of the "EU-Japan Year of People-to-People Exchanges" (Organizing committee, working group, etc.)
Japan, European Union headquarters (Brussels, Belgium), United Kingdom, Austria, Greece, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Finland, France, Belgium, Poland
Note 2: Place and date of opening events in Japan and EU
Spain (Jan 12), Slovakia (Jan 13), Japan (Jan 17), Luxembourg (Jan 19), European Commission headquarters (Brussels; Belgium) (Jan 20), Belgium (Jan 21), Czech Republic (Jan 24), Lithuania (Jan 24), Denmark (Jan 26), Hungary (Jan 27), Austria (Feb 1), Poland (Feb 4 [Przemysl], Feb 6 [Wroclaw]), Italy (Feb 8), The Netherlands (Feb 11), France (Feb 15), United Kingdom (London (Feb 17), Glasgow (Feb 18), Edinburgh (Mar 14)), Greece (Mar 16)
Note 3: Place and date of closing events in Japan and EU
Poland (Nov 22), Luxembourg (Nov 23), Slovakia (Nov 24), United Kingdom (London (Nov 29), Edinburgh (Dec 6)), Austria (Nov 29), Czech Republic (Nov 29), Spain (Dec 5), European Commission headquarters (Brussels, Belgium) (Dec 7), Japan (Dec 7), Denmark (Dec 7), Hungary (Dec 8), Greece (Dec 8, 2005-Jan 8, 2006), France (Strasbourg (Dec 8-10), Paris (Dec 15/16)), Italy (Feb 1, 2006)

Japan The Mission of Japan to the European Union (EU) Austria
Belgium Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark
Estonia Finland France Germany
Greece Hungary Ireland Italy
Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Malta
The Netherlands Poland Portugal Slovakia
Slovenia Spain Sweden United Kingdom
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