National | EMBASSY AVENUE

150 years of Swiss-Japanese friendship

The Switzerland of today is being presented during the Swissdays event in Tokyo’s Roppongi Hills through Feb. 9.

Organized by the Embassy of Switzerland, the event has officially launched the year-long celebrations commemorating the 150th anniversary of Swiss-Japanese diplomatic relations.

On Feb. 6, the day on which the two countries signed the Treaty of Amity and Commerce in 1864, an official opening ceremony was held at Roppongi Hills Arena in the presence of President Didier Burkhalter of the Swiss Confederation, who had been paying a working visit to Japan since Feb. 3.

During the ceremony, Swiss Ambassador Urs Bucher expressed his gratitude to the corporate sponsors, and President Burkhalter introduced anew the wide rage of the country’s strength and attraction “from ‘Heidi’ (a novel on a young girl in the Swiss Alps written by Johanna Spyri, one of the best-known works of Swiss literature) to high-tech.”

The program of the ceremony also included the presentation of special postage stamps co-issued by Japan Post Co. and Swiss Post; the introduction of friendship ambassadors; the showcase performance by Swiss band Eliana Burki and iAlpinisti, featuring alphorn used in original modern blues and soul music; and the demonstration of Swiss wrestling “Schwingen.”

During the Swissdays event, the stalls on the site are offering various Swiss food and beverages, including chocolates, cheese, coffee and wine, and Swiss artists from a variety of genres and Schwingen wrestlers are performing on the stage. Another attraction is the big-screen 3D projection mapping display in the evening.

“Swissdays” is taking place at Roppongi Hills Area in Tokyo’s Minato Ward through Feb. 9. For more information, visit swissdays.jp/en/

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