During the last several years, Japan and Russia have been engaged in cultural exchange programs with one another, and such events have formed the foundation for positive relations between Russia and Japan, enabling each country to introduce the other to their respective cultural achievements. Japan holds annual Japanese Spring and Japanese Autumn culture festivals, as well as Japanese film festivals in various parts of Russia.
Since 2006, Russia holds festivals annually in Japan as well. These festivals feature performances by Russian artists, both as groups and individually, and also feature exhibitions and film screenings and are held in each prefecture of Japan. In July, 2011, the 2011 Festival of Russian Culture debuted in Hakodate, commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the establishment of the Russian Federation and the 150th Anniversary of the start of the missionary work in Japan of the Russian orthodox priest, Father Nikolai, who was later canonized as a saint by the Russian orthodox church. A portion of the ticket sales was donated to the victims of the March 11 Tohoku Earthquake. The 2012 Festival opened in Osaka in July, 2012.
Other highlights of our cultural exchange activities organized by Russia in Japan in 2012 have been the following exhibitions of collections from Russian state museums:
Chagall – A Love Story, and exhibition of the works of Marc Chagall, was successfully held in Matsumoto, in Nagano Prefecture, from February to April, and featured works from the collections of the Tretyakov Gallery and the State Russian Museum.
The Hermitage Museum, the Face of an epoch - Four Centuries of European Painting, was held from April through December in the cities of Tokyo, Kyoto and Nagoya and featured masterpieces from the State Hermitage Museum. The exhibition provided an opportunity for members of the Japanese public to admire these great works of art.
The exhibition, Ilya Repin, the masterpieces of the Tretyakov Gallery opened in August and will continue through May, 2013, with stops in Tokyo, Hamamatsu, Himeji and Hayama.
Scientific and educational exchange between Russia and Japan continues to develop vigorously and humanitarian cooperation, youth exchanges and ties between members of the public have been deepening as well.
Communications and logistical support for these activities is provided by Rossotrudnichestvo (Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad, and International Humanitarian Cooperation) and the Russkiy Mir (Russian World) Foundation.