The objective is "to give expression to the bonds of friendship and respect that constitute the foundation of Luso-Japanese relations", with elements that are part of the cultural identity of Portugal, the azulejo, and of Japan, the cherry blossom ("sakura") and make up the number 480, according to a statement signed by the Portuguese ambassador in Tokyo, Vítor Sereno, and by the Japanese counterpart, Ota Makoto.
The three Portuguese navigators who were shipwrecked in Tanegashima, located in the Osumi archipelago, south of the island of Kyushu, in the southwest of the country, "started an intense exchange of ideas, technologies and goods between Portugal and Japan", they added.
"In the period of almost one hundred years that followed that first meeting, there were multiple scientific and artistic expressions that resulted from the Luso-Japanese dialogue and that contributed to the material and spiritual enrichment of Humanity", recalled the two officials.
Several cultural and economic events will mark, throughout this year, the first contact between the Portuguese and the Japanese 480 years ago. In Tanegashima, the "Teppo Matsuri" rifle festival marks the arrival of the Portuguese and the introduction of rifles in the country.
Although the calendar has not yet been finalized, Monstra - Festival de Animação, in Lisbon, and in May and October, the IberAnime festival, in Lisbon and Porto, respectively, are already planned, according to the representation page of the Japanese diplomacy in Portugal.