Nigeria, Japan to explore cultural exchange relationship

Solomon Chung, Abuja

Nigeria and Japan have agreed to explore a mutual cultural exchange relationship in the area of film, culture, food, literature amongst others.

This was disclosed when the Japanese envoy to Nigeria Mr. Sadanobu Kusaoke paid a courtesy call on the Nigerian Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed in his office in Abuja.

Mr. Kusaoke said there was need for such exchange because the Japanese people are interested in Nigeria but have not been fully exposed to Nigerian cultural goods.

“With such great potentials in the Nigerian film industry which is the 3rd largest producer of films in the world, and also the richness of the country’s culture, it is only wise and timely to partner with Nigeria in these areas,” said Mr. Kusaoke.

He said the cultural relationship was a deliberate strategy to see Nigerian cultural goods exported to Japan and vice versa.

The Japanese envoy also stated that Nigerian films would soon be shown in Japanese cinemas.

The envoy also said his country was ready to assist in the area of capacity building in animated films which is an area of strength in Japanese film industry.

Meanwhile, the Minister Alhaji Lai Mohammed told the Ambassador that Nigeria was ever ready to expand the country’s relationship in the areas of culture and film particularly.

The Minister also said the Federal Government is very focused on the economy and has a definite economic plan.

”Those who think we do not have an economic plan have not taken the pains to check out our plan, We are working to reflate the economy, provide more jobs, invest in infrastructure, power, railways and roads and by so doing create the enabling environment for industries to thrive,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed said there were 34 priority actions to be implemented in the 2016 budget, listing some of them as increasing low interest lending to the Real Sector and implementing measures to achieve self-sufficiency and become net exporters of certain agricultural products.

He said Nigeria would achieve self-sufficiency in tomato paste by 2016, rice production by 2018, wheat production by 2019, in addition to increasing local production of maize, soya, poultry and livestock, among others.

The Minister also pledged to see that the Japanese culture is appreciated in Nigeria just as the Japanese envoy pledged to do same in his home country.

“It would be a thing of joy to see Nigerian films shown in Japan. In extension, we would appreciate cooperation in the area of capacity building in the area of film production, particularly in animated and children films which is lacking in our film industry.”

Nigeria and Japan have several collaboration and bilateral relationship especially in the area of infrastructure development, loans and grants among others.

With this collaboration, another frontier would be established in the area of culture and film.