Japan-Uzbekistan cultural symposium held in Tokyo
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) --
A Japan-Uzbekistan international symposium was held Monday in Tokyo with participants exploring the impact of Uzbek civilization and religion on Japanese culture, including a possible link between the two countries through the Silk Road.
The symposium, called "Ancient civilization and religions of Uzbekistan - discovering the roots of Japanese culture," was one of a series of events to mark the 1,300th anniversary this year of the founding of the ancient capital of Heijo-kyo in what is currently the western Japan city of Nara, Kyodo reported.
Koichiro Matsuura, former director general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), said in a speech that Uzbekistan has four World Heritage sites as well as many Buddhist and Muslim ruins. He called the country "a strategic spot on the Silk Road" which has a 3,000-year history.
Another speaker Makio Takemura, principal of Toyo University, said Nara "is said to be the terminus of the Silk Road." Earlier, Toyo University president and former Finance Minister Masajuro Shiokawa delivered opening remarks at the symposium held on the university’s Hakusan Campus. The Uzbekistan Embassy and Toyo University were among the joint sponsors of the symposium.
Buddhist monuments in Uzbekistan have attracted attention in recent years, especially since the destruction of ancient Buddha statues at Bamiyan in Afghanistan, according to organizers of the symposium.