Japan–Lithuania relations

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Japan–Lithuania relations
Map indicating locations of Japan and Lithuania

Japan

Lithuania

Japan–Lithuania relations are the bilateral foreign relations between Japan and Lithuania. Japan has an embassy in Vilnius.[1] Lithuania has an embassy in Tokyo.[2]

On February, 1992, Embassy of Japan to Lithuania was established in Denmark, and on January, 1997, it moved to Vilnius, Lithuania. On June, 1998, Embassy of Lithuania to Japan was established in Tokyo.[3]

History[edit]

Interwar period[edit]

January 3, 1919, the date when Japan recognized Lithuania de facto[4] is considered the beginning of the bilateral relations. On February 8, 1929 the agreement by which visas were abolished was signed between Japan and Lithuania, while in 1930 the Trade and shipping agreement was signed. On November 23, 1939 Japanese consulate was established, led by Vice Consul Chiune Sugihara. However, due to the occupation, the consulate was shut the following year.

World War II[edit]

During World War II, in 1940 a Japanese diplomat named Chiune Sugihara assisted the flight of Jewish refugees by issuing them transit visas in Kaunas, Lithuania.[5] Sugihara was then a vice-consul at Japan's diplomatic mission had ignored instructions from the Japanese Government by issuing transit permits to Japan for Jewish families fleeing from Poland in the wake of the Nazi invasion. Up to 10,000 refugees were saved from this action.[6]

Modern relations[edit]

There is a significant close partnership between the city of Kuji and Klaipėda, established in 1989.[7]

Japan recognized Lithuania on September 6, 1991 and a month later diplomatic relations were re-established between these countries. In 1997 the Embassy of Japan was established in Vilnius and in 1998 the Embassy of Lithuania was established in Tokyo.[3]

In March 2016, Japan and Lithuania agreed to cooperate on nuclear safety.[8][9]

Military ties[edit]

In August 2016, Training Squadron vessels of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Kashima, Asagiri and Setoyuki sailed into Klaipėda port, to celebrate 25th anniversary of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between this sovereign republic in the Baltic region and the maritime nation in the Far East. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Antanas Linkevičius welcomed the Japanese vessels and their steadfast partnership based on the same fundamental values since 1991 as well as referred an honorable and righteous diplomat Chiune Sugihara,[10] who served as the Japanese Vice-Consul at Kaunas from 1939 to 1940 and granted visas to thousands of Jewish and other minority refugees in his short term of office.[11] The JMSDF Training Squadron also visited Lithuanian Military Academy, where some students and officers train Kendo, a modern Japanese martial arts descended from Bushido and swordsmanship. On August 10, a sports exchange event between Japanese and Lithuanian officers was held at the military academy, and the Lithuanian team won the Kendo match to Japanese team.[12]

High level visits[edit]

In April 2001, Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus paid an official visit to Japan, and on April 11, he held talks with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori about their views on several issues that includes their bilateral relations, Japan–Russia relations and Lithuania's accession to EU and NATO.[13]

In May 2007, Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan Akihito and Michiko made an official visit to Lithuania.[14][15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]