Working visit of the President Armen Sarkissian to Japan
President of the Republic of Armenia, Armen Sarkissian, who is on a working visit to Japan, visited the famous Japanese businessman-philanthropist and a friend of the Armenian people Shibusawa Eiichi's Memorial Foundation in Tokyo.
In 1922, Eiichi Shibusawa founded the Armenian Relief Fund in Tokyo, which significantly supported the Armenian Genocide survivors, especially to move to the USA and other countries via Japan and find refuge there. The US Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Henry Morgenthau, was instrumental in establishing the Fund.
A most influential figure of his time and "father of Japanese capitalism," Shibusawa played a leading role as a modernizer of the contemporary society in Japan. He founded the first modern bank in Japan and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He participated in establishing about five hundred enterprises and economic organizations, as well as founding a system of social security and educational organizations. The portrait of Shibusawa Eiichi will be on ¥ 10,000 banknote starting from 2024.
At the Shibusawa Eiichi Memorial Foundation, President Sarkissian met with its Director Koichi Kabayama and Eiichi Shibusawa’s grandson Masahide Shibusawa. Thanking for the reception, President Sarkissian evaluated the visit as significant for our country. Expressing gratitude on behalf of the entire Armenian people and his own for the invaluable support provided to the Armenian people by Eiichi Shibusawa and his foundation, the President noted that Japan is an example for us. "As a nation, you have also lived through difficult times, you have had losses, sometimes you thought you lost everything, and then you recovered, you built your homeland. I hope we open a new page in the Armenian-Japanese relations, which will focus on the future, new technologies and new directions. It is with this mission that I am here." he said.
Touching upon the activities of Eichi Shibusawa, President Sarkissian noted that the life and work of the great Japanese businessman and philanthropist are an inspiring message for deepening the Armenian-Japanese relations.
Afterwards, President Sarkissian handed over the "Henry Morgenthau" commemorative medal of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute to Masahide Shibusawa. "Your grandfather, Eiichi Shibusawa, was a great businessman, one of the founders of the Japanese economy. He is the one who saved a large number of Armenians. And it is not just about saving lives. The most significant thing is that people survive and are reborn if they have hope. No matter how difficult it is today, if there is hope, you can survive; if there is hope, you can rebuild; if there is hope, you can go on with your life. You will have hope if you are strong; you will have hope if you have friends, as in 1915, after the Genocide. We had friends, one of them was Ambassador Morgenthau, and the other was your grandfather, - said the President. -Today, this assessment is in some ways aimed at strengthening and developing the future Armenian-Japanese economic relations, and Japan's active support to Armenia's economic revival is just as during the Genocide, when the great Japanese businessman and philanthropist extended a hand to the Armenian people that gave them confidence in the future and hope for further aspirations and victories."
The President also got acquainted with the activities and programs of the Foundation and toured the museum functioning there. President Sarkissian and the Director of the Foundation discussed the prospects of intensifying cooperation in both business and humanitarian spheres, and spoke about the directions of implementing joint programs. President Sarkissian invited the Director of the Foundation Koichi Kabayama and Masahide Shibusawa to visit Armenia.
President of the Republic of Armenia Armen Sarkissian, in Japan on a working visit, attended the official opening ceremony of the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games along with the high-ranking heads of delegations from different countries at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium.
The President of the Republic of Armenia Armen Sarkissian, in Japan on a working visit, took part in the official reception, organized by the Emperor of Japan Naruhito in the Imperial Palace in honour of the high-ranking heads of foreign delegations, participating in the opening of the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games.
Among those in attendance were President of France Emmanuel Macron, President of Poland Andrzej Duda, Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Albert II, Prince of Monaco, and the US First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.
The President of the Republic of Armenia Armen Sarkissian met with Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace of Japan.
President Sarkissian congratulated Emperor Naruhito and the people of Japan on hosting the Summer Olympic Games in the difficult situation conditioned by the pandemic.
They touched upon the Armenian-Japanese relations, as well as the importance of maintaining friendly ties between the two peoples.
The President of the Republic of Armenia Armen Sarkissian, in Japan on a working visit, met with the Prime Minister of Japan Suga Yoshihide.
Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide welcomed the working visit of the President of Armenia to Japan and thanked him for participating in the official opening ceremony of the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.
President Sarkissian congratulated the Prime Minister of Japan on the successful organization and holding of the Olympic Games under unprecedented conditions, noting that he was impressed with the opening ceremony and the high level of organization of the event.
During the meeting, President Sarkissian and the Prime Minister of Japan touched upon the bilateral agenda and the possibilities of deepening the Armenian-Japanese relations. The parties noted that there is a great potential for the expansion of bilateral trade and economic relations, which is not fully realized.President Sarkissian emphasized that Armenia is interested in expanding relations with Japan. The President noted that, as a EEU member with a sustainable and mature financial and banking system, Armenia could serve a market entry point to the Eurasian countries for Japanese companies, also they could participate in the projects, implemented in various spheres of Armenia, particularly, in the programs launched with the EU financial support.
President Sarkissian attached importance to cooperation with Japanese companies in the fields of innovation, food security, high technologies, and artificial intelligence. Speaking about the ATOM (Advanced Tomorrow) Presidential Initiative for Scientific and Technological Development in Armenia, the President noted that he would be glad to cooperate with Japanese companies and implement joint programs within the framework of the initiative. He noted that for this purpose he plans to meet with the management of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to discuss cooperation opportunities.
President Sarkissian also thanked the Government of Japan for assisting Armenia in various fields and grant programs.
Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide noted that Japan is also interested in deepening bilateral relations and cooperation. He underscored that the activity of the famous Japanese figure Eiichi Shibusawa is a good illustration of friendship between the two peoples, and the Japanese side is ready to develop bilateral relations.
The parties emphasized the need to impart a new quality to the Armenian-Japanese relations and to start a new page of cooperation. In order to get acquainted with each other's potential, opportunities and develop target projects, President Sarkissian proposed to create a joint Armenian-Japanese structure named after Eiichi Shibusawa with the participation of Armenian and Japanese companies.
They also discussed multilateral cooperation and interaction within the framework of international organizations.
President of the Republic of Armenia Armen Sarkissian, in Japan with a working visit, at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium, watched the performance of gymnast Arthur Davtyan, representing our country at the Summer Olympic Games. The gymnast performed in the qualifying round of the vault event, scoring high points.
In a conversation with journalists, President Sarkissian noted that our athelete's performance impressed him; he wished success to the Armenian Olympic team. "Sport is one of the best ways of introducing yourself to the world, and to get acquainted with the world. Participation in the Olympic Games is already a huge success. Imagine we are dealing with young people who devote their lives to achieving a goal," said President Sarkissian.
The President of the Republic of Armenia Armen Sarkissian, in Japan on a working visit, met with the representatives of the famous Japanese company YAMAHA.
President Sarkissian got acquainted with the company's activities and new projects, the abilities and capabilities of artificial intelligence devices, as well as the work carried out in international cooperation.
President Sarkissian discussed the possibilities of cooperation with the representatives of the company. In particular, they referred to the implementation of joint programs in the field of artificial intelligence, as well as the company's representation in Armenia.
YAMAHA is one of the oldest companies (founded in 1887) in Japan, with a multi-billion dollar turnover and worldwide acknowledgement. In addition to musical instruments, it produces professional audio devices, modern information and telecommunication facilities, electronic and automated systems, and internal components of machines that operate through artificial intelligence. One of YAMAHA's special projects is the System of Musical Ensemble based on artificial intelligence (YOO), which analyzes musicians’ performance, predicts its timing and course, synchronizing it with other musical instruments. YAMAHA also manufactures small portable vehicles such as motor boats, bikes, bicycles, snowmobiles, industrial robots, and other devices.
During his working visit to Japan, at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium, President of the Republic of Armenia Armen Sarkissian followed the competition of boxer Hovhannes Bachkov, representing Armenia at the Summer Olympics.
After the fight, President Sarkissian personally congratulated the Armenian boxer on his confident victory and wished him continued success.
Within the frame of his working visit to Japan, the President of the Republic of Armenia Armen Sarkissian met with the representatives of the Armenian community of Japan.
In particular, the President of the Republic spoke about the purpose of his visit to Japan, the building of a strong country, and the role of the Diaspora, also the consequences of the war, and the lessons learned.
"One word can describe the enormous difficulties of the war: crisis. It is a crisis, as we lost thousands of young lives, and many young people have lost their health. There is also a moral-psychological crisis: it is difficult to lose a war, especially for the people, who were the winners 26 years ago," he said, "One must learn to tell the truth, no matter how bitter it is. When you tell the truth, with your next step, you must be ready to solve the problems. It will not be easy to resolve them, as it will take years."
The President noted that defeat should be a lesson for all of us, from the President of the Republic, the Government, the National Assembly to ordinary citizens. "And such lessons are many. I told you about the first one: we have to live with reality. The other conclusion is that any state eventually builds its future based on its own advantages. People are our greatest resourse. Here, we have an advantage, as we have Diasporas in Russia, in the United States, and France. There are large numbers of Armenians living all over the world. This is an immense advantage." said President Sarkissian, "We have compatriots who educate, become educated, develop, gain experience, then they can bring it all to Armenia, but we put barriers. The 21st century, after all, will not be a century of natural resources. The world's largest companies have long been technology companies, not oil companies."
President Sarkissian stressed that our future is to build a strong Armenia, and for that, we must first use our advantage: human resources. Speaking about the importance of using the potential of the Diaspora for the development of the country, President Sarkissian considered constitutional changes one of the main ways. "We must do everything so that any Armenian, no matter where he lives, had the opportunity to serve the homeland voluntarily, and there should be no barriers."
Emphasizing that strong Armenia is also technologically developed Armenia, the President said that all of us should be future-oriented. "It is not ordinary programming, but artificial intelligence, not ordinary biology, but biotechnology."
The President noted that one of the purposes of the visit to Japan was meeting with the world’s leading technology companies. "Armenia and Japan can work together, especially in the field of high technologies. I hope Japanese companies take part in the technological development of Armenia."
Speaking about the vision of having a developed country, President Sarkissian noted, "Like any state, we have only one way to succeed: building a truly strong state. In other words, we must first have the idea ofstatehood in our hearts and minds, and be state-oriented people. A strong state also means that it can achieve significant success with small resources, i.e. it is disciplined and has a vision, and knows where it is going. And as we are a small country, that vision cannot be ordinary, it must turn into a mission.
When you are small, you must be able to consolidate all your force so that the strength of your blow is powerful. A small state can do that. There are many such examples in the world."
President Sarkissian also answered the meeting participants’ questions, which referred to the internal political situation, foreign policy, and the issue of keeping young people in the homeland.
At the end of the meeting, wishing success to the participants, the President said, "I want to hope that in the future you all will start thinking about Armenia as a country where one feels safe, where you see your own future and that of your children."
In Japan on a working visit, the President of the Republic of Armenia Armen Sarkissian visited the Japan Nuclear Regulation Authority and met with the Chairman of the NRA Fuketa Toyoshi.
President Sarkissian and Fuketa Toyoshi discussed issues related to cooperation in the field of ensuring nuclear safety.
The head of the Japan Nuclear Regulation Authority expressed readiness to cooperate with Armenia, noting that they regularly re-equip nuclear power plants to avert the risks, and their experience in this field can be instructive and useful for partners.
Referring to the areas of cooperation, the parties singled out nuclear safety regulations, nuclear fuel, and nuclear waste management, as well as implementing joint research in nuclear physics. They emphasized the importance of mutual visits and exchange programs of specialists in the field to develop cooperation.
The Japan Nuclear Regulation Authority is a government body established after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident in 2012 to ensure the country's nuclear safety.
President of the Republic of Armenia Armen Sarkissian, in Japan on a working visit, met with Kitaoka Shinichi, the President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The head of the Japan International Cooperation Agency welcomed President Sarkissian's visit to Japan, noting that their agency has been cooperating with Armenia for years, and he is glad to discuss the directions of future cooperation with the President of Armenia.
President Sarkissian thanked him for the work and programs implemented in Armenia with the support of the agency. "We all, however, live for tomorrow, not today. As President of the country, I suggest thinking about tomorrow's cooperation and discuss what we can do together."
The parties discussed the possibilities to deepen interaction in natural disaster management and prevention, as well as developing cooperation in science, high technologies, and tourism.
President Sarkissian presented information on the ATOM (Advanced Tomorrow) Presidential Initiative and noted that within the framework of this program aimed at developing science and technology in our country, agreements were already reached to cooperate with several world’s leading technology companies, scientific and educational institutions. It is expected to cooperate with Japanese companies and universities as well. "It is important that we focused on having an economy, based on science and technology, as that is the future of our country," said President Sarkissian.
The head of the Japan International Cooperation Agency noted that their structure is ready to discuss ways to expand cooperation with Armenia.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is a governmental agency that aims to assist in the economic and social growth in developing countries, as well as to promote international cooperation by sharing knowledge and experience.
Within the frame of his working visit to Japan, President Armen Sarkissian met with Tadashi Maeda, the Governor of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).
President Sarkissian and the head of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation discussed issues of interaction with Armenia. In particular, they touched upon cooperation in attracting investments, banking, high technologies, and real estate. The Governor of the bank presented the mission and directions of the structure he heads to President Sarkissian. He expressed his readiness to visit Armenia and get acquainted with the possibilities of interaction.
The Japan Bank for International Cooperation, owned by the Government of Japan, is represented in about two dozen countries around the world. One of the main goals of the Bank is to promote economic cooperation between Japan and its international partners through foreign investments and fostering international trade. The Bank's activities include, in particular, the spheres of infrastructure, environment protection, energy, and natural resources, as well as production.
On July 27, President of the Republic of Armenia Armen Sarkissian, in Japan on a working visit, visited Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, one of the largest industrial and technological companies in the world, and met with Shunichi Miyanaga, Member of the Board of the Mitsubishi Group and Chairman of the Board of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
President Sarkissian and the Chairman of the Board of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries referred to the discussions and agreements reached during the previous meeting, noting with regret that the pandemic had also left its impact on the implementation of various programs.
Speaking about the directions of cooperation, the parties gave prominence to partnership in science, especially in physics and mathematics, and referred to the possibilities of applying the advanced technologies and experience of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Armenia.
President Sarkissian presented the progress of the ATOM (Advanced Tomorrow) Presidential Initiative, noting that being a future-oriented program, it will focus on the country's scientific and technological development, and he will be glad to see the Japanese technology giant among its partners. "The world is changing, and I think the leading force in the world will be technologies, ideas, and mathematics; this is where we must focus all our efforts," said the President. "We must be ready for those changes. If we do not change, we will stay behind. I want to see Armenia a high-tech country."
The Chairman of the Board of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries stressed that their company is also interested in cooperation with Armenia. He noted that the planned visit to Armenia after the first meeting with President Sarkissian did not take place due to the pandemic, and in the near future, they intend to visit Armenia for a first-hand acquaintance with the existing potential and cooperation opportunities.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is one of the world's leading industrial companies that specializes in the production of military and passenger aircrafts, spacecraft engines, equipment for space stations, passenger and cargo ships, submarines, research devices, marine navigation systems, power plants, and climatic devices. The company has an advanced system of experimental-technical research, which includes scientific-technical and scientific research centres.
On July 27, during his working visit to Japan, the President of the Republic of Armenia Armen Sarkissian visited the Kavli Institute of Physics and Mathematics (Kavli IPMU) in Tokyo.
Founded in 2007, the institution is a centre for fundamental research in physics and mathematics. Currently, the Institute is one of the most attractive research centres for the world's leading researchers in astrophysics, elementary particle physics and mathematics.
President Sarkissian toured the territory of the research centre, got acquainted with the activities and programs of the Institute, and met with the leadership of the Institute.
The Director of the Institute, Hiroshi Ooguri, presented the main directions of their activities and the implemented research programs to President Sarkissian. They discussed the possibilities of cooperation between the Kavli Institute, Yerevan State University and the Byurakan Observatory of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia. President Sarkissian invited the representatives of the Institute to take part in the 6th STARMUS International Festival of Science and Art to be held in Armenia next year.
President Sarkissian met with young Armenian specialists conducting research at the Institute.