07, 2021

Eiichi Shibusawa's activity is a message of deepening Armenian-Japanese relations. President Sarkissian visited the Memorial Foundation of Shibusawa Eiichi, the famous Japanese businessman-philanthropist and a friend of the Armenian people

Today, 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.  

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