ATHENS – Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, in a message to the Embassy of Japan on the occasion of Japan’s National Day, and expressed his hope that 2022 will be an important year in the cooperation between Greece and Japan.
He said that the Greeks admire Japanese culture and the respect that the Japanese show towards their traditions, stressing the important role that Japan plays internationally.
“Although geographically distant, our peoples are united on their love for the sea and οn their skillful seamanship, on their resourcefulness in trade and their devotion to arts and culture. And of course, as our relations are getting strengthened, the Greek-Japanese friendship will continue to expand,” he stressed.
“The most recent indication of that was the opening of the ‘Japanese Garden’ last November in Pagrati, Athens. It now constitutes a jewel for the city,” he added.
“This year marks one hundred years since the Asia Minor Catastrophe. When remembering those sad events, the self-sacrifice of the captain -whose name still remains unknown- and crew of the Japanese ship “Tokei Maru” springs to mind. In the midst of untold suffering and imminent danger, the “Tokei Maru” saved hundreds of Greeks of Smyrna from certain death. This selfless act should be highlighted this year so that it takes its rightful place in the history of the long-standing friendship between our peoples,” Dendias noted.