Lecture of Ambassador Hayashi organised by Belgium-Japan Association & Chamber of Commerce (BJA)

On December 6, Ambassador Hayashi gave a lecture under the theme of the "Reflections on the 100th Anniversary of the End of the First World War - Implications for Today and for the Future" on the occasion of a lunch-conference organised by the Belgium-Japan Association & Chamber of Commerce (BJA). Ambassador Hayashi, while pointing out grave influences the First World War brought to the world, mentioned that a number of commemorative events took place around the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War in a variety of places in Belgium, including the“Hiroshima-Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Exhibition” held in the Ypres Museum in the city of Ypres, as well as the inauguration of the Peace Carillon at the bell tower of the Church of Our Lady in the municipality of Aarschot which includes a bell with an inscription in Japanese letters meaning the “eternal peace”. He also introduced several episodes of the exchanges between Japanese and Belgian people during and after the war, including the restoration of the library of the Catholic University of Leuven, which was burnt and destroyed during the war and for which Japan had contributed by donating many precious and historic books along with few other countries. During the Q&A session with the participants, Ambassador Hayashi also explained that the upcoming events such as Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020, which will mark the 100th anniversary of the Antwerp Olympic Games in 1920 symbolising the recovery of Belgium from the First World War, as well as the World Expo 2025 in Osaka that has just been selected, will be occasions for developing even closer relations between the two countries.

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