2018 celebrate the 160th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relation between France and Japan.
In 1858, Japan has opened up its door to the Western world and signed the Treaty of Amity and Commerce in Edo (the former Tokyo). Until then, most of the relation Japan had with the western countries were limited to mainly Portugal, Dutch and the U.K.
Since the signing of the treaty, the relation has extended into culture as well as trade.
Japan has taken part in the Universal exposition in 19th centuries, where many examples of Japanese arts and crafts were exhibited in great numbers for the first time outside the country. There were collectors and artists who showed great interest in Japanese prints and decorative arts for example, such enthusiasm for Japanese Arts and craft was to become known as “Japonism”. Many great French Impressionists have collected Japanese prints and took some form of influence from it. In the same way, many artists in Japan working in the early 20th century were keen to include new method of working from the west into their work as well.
Other form of arts and culture in exchanges were in Cinema, literature, Manga, Animation and Cuisine. In regards to culinary and fashion, Japan has gone through major changes in the last century taking in vast influences from the west. There were many expats and tourists from Japan coming to European countries especially in the 80s. There were considerably decreased in the 90s due to the economic depression in Japan. But since it’s gradual recovery, many European countries still ranks at the top of the holiday destination abroad.
With the Free Trade Agreement and Economic Cooperation being finalised, the trade would inevitably increase between the European countries and Japan as well as cooperation in other area of the economy. Working together in the mutual problem of the society like in renewable energy and security to name a few.
In regards to the security concern in the world, France and Japan has recently signed a bilateral agreement of the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement which will deepen security cooperation. The mutual area of concern is maintaining “a free and open Indo-Pacific” and is aiming to strengthen coordination in maritime issues based on the rules of law in protecting the region. Free and open seas are the foundation for the peace and prosperity of the international trade.
2018 celebrate the 160th anniversary of bilateral relation between France and Japan. Japan’s Ground Self-Defence Force took part in the Bastille Day parade in Paris in July. France celebrates Japanese culture with 8 month festival covering various topics in different locations throughout the country.