Nenad Glisic, charge d’affaires at the Serbian Embassy since September, expressed hope of strengthening his nation’s relations with Japan, whose ties started with diplomatic contacts more than 130 years ago.

“Back in 1882, the first formal correspondence between Serbia and Japan was exchanged between Serbian King Milan I and Emperor Meiji,” said Glisic during a courtesy visit Monday to The Japan Times.

In the letter, Emperor Meiji congratulated the king for the independence of the Serbian state and his coronation, he said.

Glisic said “interest in Japanese culture is on the rise,” adding that Japanese modern classic literature, including works by Yasunari Kawabata, Yukio Mishima, and more recently Haruki Murakami are popular in Serbia.

Located in the midwestern part of the Balkans in Southeast Europe, Glisic noted that Serbia also welcomes Japanese investment in the fields of agriculture, information technology and management skills.

Glisic lived in Japan 35 years ago for four years as a teenager when his father was posted to the Yugoslavian Embassy in Tokyo. Prior to his posting to Japan, Glisic was minister counselor to the Serbian Embassy in Beijing.

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