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Supporting Japan-related programs in European Capitals of Culture

HOME > Column > #KogirevisitsEurope November 2020 (3)

[Vol.222] #KogirevisitsEurope November 2020 (3)

Shuji Kogi

Secretary General of EU-Japan Fest

I attended a meeting with the team of the European Capital of Culture Timisoara. Attendance was limited to 6 people. Hot discussions that were not possible remote communication were there. Preparations in the city are underway to expand activities to 2021-23 with the consideration of continuing Covid-19 infections. The plight of humans also creates soul-stirring artworks. I pledged further cooperation with the CEO, Ms. Simona Neumann.

 

The number of cases in Romania is 40 times bigger and more serious than in Japan. People have almost disappeared from the city, but when I meet them in person, their faces are really bright, as if they have abandoned their grief and chosen hope for the future. The number of cases in Japan is much smaller, but the surge in suicides is distressing. I was keenly aware of the urgent need to strengthen the solidarity between Japan and Europe in preparation for what happens after the end of the pandemic. 

 

Currently, the Romanian-Serbian border is virtually closed due to the pandemic, but the Japanese are treated as an exception. Mr. and Mrs. Alin drove me to the border. I was at departure formalities for Romania, rolling three pieces of luggage and passing through the buffer zone on foot. At the Serbian border, I presented a PCR negative certificate and entered the country. Then I got into the arranged car and headed to Novi Sad.

 

To be continued…

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