Kenzo Oshima
(Ambassador of Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations)

                   19 December 2005

Greeting by
Mr. Kenzo Oshima Permanent Rrepresentative
of Japan to the U.N

19 December 2005

Mr. Secretary-General,
Mrs. Annan,
Ambassador Wang and Madame,
Mr. Wang Wusheng,
Under-Secretary-General Tharoor,
Under-Secretary-General Chen,
Mr. Murai (chair of the Exhibition Committee),
distinguished guests,
ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure for the Permanent Mission of Japan to co-sponsor this remarkable art exhibition at the United Nations, along with the Permanent Mission of China and the Spirit of the East Exhibition Committee.

I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Mrs. Annan, for gracing the opening with your presence tonight; Our thanks also go to Under-Secretary-General Shashi Tharoor, for supporting this event and for all the cooperation we could get from his Department.

I am particularly pleased to co-sponsor this cultural exhibition with Ambassador Wang of China, as it features the paintings of the master artist Kaii Higashiyama of Japan and the fine art photographs of the celebrated photographer Wang Wusheng of China, in commemoration of the UN's 60th anniversary.

The cultural exchange between China and Japan dates back some 2000 years. For many centuries, Japan has learned many things from and has been influenced by Chinese culture and civilization, particularly in arts and literature, philosophy, and technology. Our forebears in Japan eagerly absorbed them, digested and internalized them to create a unique culture and civilization of our own in East Asian context.

In the course of the history of exchange, artists in our two nations have sometimes influenced each other in a variety of ways, and produced diversity and richness in their artistic works through a process of cultural cross-fertilization. I believe the artistic development of both Kaii Higashiyama and Wang Wusheng has benefited from this ongoing exchange between the two nations.

I have no doubt that this exhibition will be a big success, and would like to express my sincere hope that it will be viewed by many visitors to the United Nations. Our only regret that the health conditions of Mrs. Higashiyama have not allowed her to travel to New York, but I hope the viewers will enjoy a moment of tranquility, peace and serenity, inspired by the magnificent works of the two master artists from Japan and China.

Last but not least, I wish to thank all the members of the Exhibition Committee, and for all the generous support from Japanese business organizations.