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Photo: Velvyslanectví ČR v Tokiu / Embassy of the Czech Republic in Tokyo
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Ambassador visited Kumamoto Prefecture

On November 8 and 9, 2021, the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Japan realized a visit to Kumamoto Prefecture, where he made a presentation for pupils within the "EU comes to your school" program, met with representatives of the prefecture and visited a Czech village.

On the first day of his trip to Kumamoto Prefecture, Ambassador Martin Tomčo´s presentation met with great interest of students and teachers at Minamata High School. As part of the “EU comes to your school” program, he introduced the European Union and the Czech Republic to around 250 pupils and he spoke with the Principal of the school, Mr. Tsuruyama, about education in the Czech Republic and Japan.

On his journey through Kumamoto Prefecture, the Ambassador met then with Mr. Toshihara Takaoka, Mayor of Minamata City. Minamata is one of the most environmentally active city in Japan. The city has long suffered from pollution and the disease "minamata", named after the city as the site of its first occurrence, where mercury pollution caused by a spill from a chemical factory has had fatal consequences for people and nature. But thanks to its ecological activity, the city deserves to be restored to a healthy nature and environment. In this context, the Ambassador also visited the Minamata Ecopark and the memorial to the victims of the Minamata disease, which has been created symbolically by sludge reclamation.

Then, the Ambassador paid a courtesy visit to Kumamoto Prefecture Governor Mr. Ikua Kabashima and discussed deepening economic cooperation, cyber security and innovation. During the meeting, they also commemorated the 100th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Czech Republic and Japan and discussed further cooperation in the field of culture and sports. The Ambassador continued with a tour of the Daigeki Kaikan department store, the exterior of which was designed by Czech architect Antonín Raymond and his wife. After the great earthquake in Kumamoto, restoration work began and was completed this summer succeeding to make the original look of the building.

The Ambassador's program continued at Kumamoto University, where he met with the Rector of the University, Mr. Ogawa, the Vice-Rector, Mr. Otani, and the Director of the Magnesium Research Center, Mr. Kawamura. Together they discussed past and ongoing cooperation between the university and several Czech universities. In February 2020, for example, Kumamoto University signed an agreement on academic and student exchange on the interuniversity level with the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen. Researchers from both countries are cooperating in the field of medicine and research in light metals, including magnesium, and the university is looking forward to and interested in further cooperation in several areas.

At the end of his trip to the Kumamoto Prefecture, the Ambassador visited the Czech village of Barrel Valley Prague & GEN and met with its owner, Mr. Masahiro Yamamoto. The place is known for its picturesque aesthetics and atmosphere given by the reconstruction of the streets of Prague, where Kirishima Kogen Beer is brewed. This beer is a rarity in its taste and production process, where all raw materials for its production are imported from the Czech Republic and brewed in the same barrels and by the same processes as beer produced in the Czech Republic.


Cesta do prefektury Kumamoto