The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, which held the presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) during the first half of 2005, had, with the European Commission (EC) in Brussels , the honour of inaugurating the EU-Japan Year of People to People Exchanges.
The wide-ranging program under the High Patronage of Their Royal Highnesses the Grand-Duke and Grand-Duchess in my country, helped to bring Japanese and European citizens closer together through their numerous encounters over the course of the year, providing opportunities to discover the richness of Japanese creativity and the great diversity of its culture.
We are proud of the partnerships between citizens and artists, especially of the musical one established in Luxembourg between the leading Shô player Mayumi Miyata and United Instruments of Lucilin, performing together in world premiere two works from Toshio Hosokawa.
The year 2005 has enabled the realization of new forms of friendly relations. United Instruments of Lucilin plans to record in Japan a CD compilation of Japanese musical works including some of the composer Toshio Hosokawa. Exchanges of this kind will continue through 2006. “Nakata Yoshinao Wo Uta-u Kaï” will return the visit to the child's-choral Marie Astrid and “Misericordias - Schola Gregoriana” intends to initiate close and friendly relationship with Japanese counterparts.
The events of 2005 brought a lot of people together and opened up their hearts and minds to a new and comprehensive approach for closer ties between Japanese and European societies.