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An event to promote the photo exhibition “Japan through Diplomats’ Eyes” was held on April 23 at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Tokyo.

Since its inception in 1998, the exhibition has been held annually and features photographs taken by diplomats, their family members and embassy staff in Japan. The exhibition attracts not only other diplomats, but also the general public and professional photographers.

Setting a specific theme every year such as “Face of Japan” in 2002 and “Colors of Japan” in 2009, the exhibition includes a competition to select Prince Takamado Memorial Prize and Grand Prix winners from the works.

Following in the footsteps of the late Prince Takamado, who was a keen photographer and contributed to enhance the exhibition, his wife Princess Takamado has served as honorary president of the exhibition’s executive committee, since 2003.

Hosted by Saudi Arabian Ambassador Abdulaziz Turkistani, who has served as chairperson of the executive committee since last year, the event on April 23 was attended by Princess Takamado and former Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura, who has served as the head of jury of the exhibition’s competition.

During the event, Princess Takamado introduced the history and the original concept of the exhibition. Thanks to this exhibition, “diplomatic missions have become closer to the Japanese people,” she said.

“Also, through the eyes of ambassadors, who have been posted to different countries, we are able to see a Japan that is not the Japan that we see. It’s a very high-level and different view of Japan seen through experienced, international minds,” said Princess Takamado, emphasizing the significance of ambassadors’ participation in the exhibition.

In response, Saudi Arabian Ambassador said, “We, as ambassadors, love this country and we would like to show some of our appreciation in how we see Japan from different angles.”

More than 50 ambassadors participated in the event. The 17th edition of the exhibition is scheduled in October this year, under the theme “Cool Japan 2014,” following the last year’s “Cool Japan!” that presented works by 57 diplomats from 33 countries.

“It is a rare opportunity to have so many ambassadors get together at one place today,” Turkistani said. “I think it is also important that more ambassadors and diplomats will know the beauty of this country through this exhibition,” he said.

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