UAE, Japan discuss cultural relations

ABU DHABI, During a remote meeting, Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, and Kōichi Hagiuda, Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, discussed ways of enhancing the bilateral relations between the UAE and Japan in cultural and creative fields.

During the meeting, Al Kaabi stated, “It is important to communicate with friendly countries during these difficult times, to exchange experiences and benefit from each others’ knowledge, as well as to cooperate in overcoming the challenges posed by the coronavirus, COVID-19, crisis affecting the world.”

Al Kaabi also explained the measures taken by the UAE to contain the virus, including postponing cultural events, closing museums, and converting them into digital spaces.

The UAE conducted a national questionnaire on the challenges facing creators and companies operating in the cultural sector, which resulted in the launch of a national programme to financially support independent creators and small companies in the creative sector.

Al Kaabi added that creative hubs and free zones in the UAE are providing a range of incentives to their investors, to help them overcome the crisis and ensure that they are not significantly affected by the difficult economic conditions.

Both sides also discussed their cooperation in cultural data, statistics and indicators, to create a deeper understanding of the cultural and creative sector, with the aim of identifying gaps in the sector and drafting policies that will stimulate its growth and prosperity.

Kōichi said that Japan has adopted a series of measures to alleviate the repercussions of the health crisis on the cultural sector, including by allocating ¥2.3 trillion to support cultural and creative industries.

He then expressed his country’s keenness to participate in the Dubai Expo 2020, where its pavilion will combine traditional Japanese decorative patterns influenced by Arabesque art.

The cultural relations between the UAE and Japan have witnessed ongoing development over many years and Japan was the guest of honour at the Sharjah International Book Fair in 2018.

Source: Emirates News Agency