JAPANESE ambassador to Zimbabwe Toshiyuki Iwado yesterday said his government was committed to working with local artistes on a number of cultural exchange programmes to help promote Japanese culture in the country.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
Speaking to NewsDay Life & Style on the sidelines of his meeting with Sport, Arts and Recreation minister Kazembe Kazembe in Harare, the diplomat said they exchanged notes on the need to strengthen relations between the two countries by using the arts and culture.
“We do have the resources to support the Zimbabwean artistes in different cultural exchange projects where they can collaborate with Japanese artistes,” he said.
Iwado said as part of their contribution to Zimbabwe’s arts and culture sector, they had dispatched experts to assist students at tertiary institutions such as Harare Polytechnic.
Iwado also pledged continued support for Zimbabwe through completing developmental projects that are underway.
“We will continue supporting Zimbabwe and work towards completing the projects we have already started,” he said.
Kazembe said with the assistance from the Japanese, they were keen to resuscitate some of the once vibrant festivals such as the Jena Guru.
“We discussed how we can strengthen relations between Zimbabwe and Japan where the Japanese ambassador assured us they are keen to support our arts and culture sector on a number of cultural exchange projects,” he said.
Kazembe said they also discussed possible areas in which they could work together in sport, arts and recreation.
Harare-based cultural group Hwamanda Dance Troupe is one of several local groups that have toured several countries including Japan.
Some Japanese artistes have also visited Zimbabwe in the past for some performances as part of cultural exchange programmes.