Between tradition and innovation: beginning of the Austria Japan Year 2009
Vienna, 30 December 2008 – “2009 marks the 140th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Austria and Japan. This anniversary year offers a unique opportunity to further intensify the close and traditionally good friendship between our two countries,” stated Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger at the beginning of the Austria Japan Year 2009.
For the first time, Austria will be presenting itself in Japan throughout the year. Austria’s traditional image prevailing among the Japanese public is to be enriched by new and modern facets in areas such as culture, science and business in order to win new friends and strengthen old bonds of friendship for joint tasks in the future.
“Within the framework of this anniversary, Austria and Japan want to further strengthen their partnership particularly in the fields of culture and business, with a special focus on innovation,” stated the Foreign Minister, adding that “both countries have rich and precious traditions, while at the same time playing an important role in high technology and research. In the course of the Austria Japan Year we want to leverage Austria’s creative potential as a starting point for the presentation of an innovative image of Austria in Japan.”
The official opening of the Austria Japan Year 2009 will take place at the Vienna Ball to be held on 24 January in Tokyo.
A number of activities scheduled throughout 2009 will provide a multi-faceted picture of the relations between the two countries. More than 100 projects will present and position Austria in Japan as both a traditional and innovative country, including, for instance, the presentation of modern Austrian design under the title “GD2D+PD3D” during the Tokyo Design Week, while the Museum of Art History will present a comprehensive show entitled “The Treasures of the Hapsburgs” running from September to November at the National Arts Center in Tokyo. An exhibition, curated by Gustav Peichl, will focus on Austrian architecture.
Further information on the Austria Japan Year 2009 may be accessed at the bilingual website www.japan-austria2009.org.
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