Bahrain, UAE and Oman celebrate 50 years of diplomatic ties with Japan

TOKYO: The embassies of the Kingdom of Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and the Sultanate of Oman organized a joint cultural ceremony in Tokyo on Saturday and Sunday to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations – in 1972 – with Japan.

The ceremony included a show of traditional costumes, handicrafts, date fruits and Arabic music performed by the Emirates National Music Band.

Arab and Japanese professional calligraphers wrote the names of the Japanese attendees in Arabic on special cards, while Arab volunteers painted henna on the hands of Japanese women at the exhibition.

Endo Shigeru, the Japan representative to the Gulf Cooperation Council, looked forward to another 50 years of friendly relations.

“I am really very pleased to be here today on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of relations between Japan and the Gulf States, including Oman, the UAE and Bahrain,” he told Arab News Japan. “Many Japanese people, particularly young people, are here enjoying the cuisine, traditional costumes, and many elements of culture of the region. I hope that we will be able to see another 50 years during which we can continue to enjoy our relationship, sharing the prosperity of continuing opportunities and harmonious friendship.”

Shihab Alfaheem, ambassador of the UAE to Japan, told Arab News Japan, “We organized this celebration on the occasion of the golden jubilee of establishing relations with Japan and as a culmination of the friendship that officially began 50 years ago.” He said the highlight of the event is the performance made by members of the UAE band of the Ministry of Culture & Youth to mark the occasion.

Ahmed Al-Dosari, Ambassador of Bahrain, pointed out that relations with Japan go back further than 1972, as the first shipment of oil from Bahrain to the world market was delivered to Japan in 1934.

Ambassador Al-Dosari stressed that Bahrain’s relationship with Japan is long-standing and Saturday’s celebration was aimed at introducing the culture and civilization of Bahrain, the UAE and Oman to the Japanese people. “The exhibition is a success, and there are many visitors, and we are looking forward to more,” he noted.

The exhibition included artistic and cultural performances that reflect Bahraini life, such as marriage ceremonies – Jalwa – and a display of Bahraini traditional dress and jewelry that are worn on happy occasions such as holidays and weddings.

The ceremony was held in the Harajuku district, which attracts young people and has outlets of Japan’s major fashion houses.