ASTANA – The Japanese Embassy in Kazakhstan showcased the beautiful tradition of decorating and displaying miniature dolls to celebrate the Hinamatsuri girls’ festival on March 3 in Astana. The event also marked the Japanese Emperor Naruhito’s birthday on Feb. 23, who turned 63 this year.
Every year Japanese families with young daughters display intricately crafted traditional Japanese dolls in their homes at Hinamatsuri, also known as the girls’ day or the doll festival, celebrated on March 3. In Japan, it is believed that the dolls protect against evil and are displayed with a prayer for good health, prosperity, and happy marriage for the girls in the future.
In the days leading up to March 8, International Women’s Day, the event celebrated the contribution of women to the progress of both countries and their role in society and culture.
In his opening remarks, Jun Yamada, Ambassador of Japan to Kazakhstan, highlighted the advancement of women across all sectors in Kazakhstan.
“In Kazakhstan, more and more ladies are playing truly important roles in every sphere of the structure of the Republic, and I think Minister [of Ecology and Natural Resources] Suleimenova is undoubtedly the foremost representative of this wonderful trend. Let us hope that even more young ladies will be inspired by such an example and aspire for greater responsibility in society. In my impression, Kazakhstan’s achievement in this respect is already far ahead of Japan,” said ambassador Yamada.
The ambassador also highlighted the “rewarding and rich” political dialogue during the previous year with official visits from the foreign ministers of both nations.
According to Yamada, Japan and Kazakhstan have close economic ties backed by joint trade and investment projects.
“The new emphasis in our economic relationships is increasingly in the private sector. Both countries have already built a solid and substantial partnership in trade and investment,” he said, emphasizing the need to identify and pursue further developments in that sphere in the current stage of globalization.
Dossbol Bekmagambetov, Kazakhstan’s vice minister of ecology and natural resources, also attended the event. According to him, Kazakhstan’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality opened up vast opportunities for cooperation and the implementation of joint projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.
“We are strengthening cooperation with the Japanese side on the possibility of creating a Joint Crediting Mechanism to facilitate diffusion of advanced technologies and infrastructure to reduce emissions, as well as implementing measures to mitigate the effects of climate change,” said Bekmagambetov.
During the event, people enjoyed traditional Japanese dishes prepared by the ambassador’s chef and observed the traditional Karagami Wari ceremony of breaking the lid of the sake (Japanese alcoholic beverage) barrel.