Opening a New and Bright Page in the History of the Armenian and Japanese Nations

Opening a New and Bright Page in the History of the Armenian and Japanese Nations


My interlocutor is the lecturer of “Finance” and “International Economic Relations” Chairs of the Armenian State University of Economics, Candidate of Economics, Specialist of Japanese Anna Vardanyan.

T. M. – Dear Anna Vardanyan, attaching importance to the frameworks of your studies and your enthusiasm in the new revelations of the Armenian-Japanese historical and cultural relations, please present your story of the Armenian-Japanese friendship, as a start for the conversation.  

A. V. – My memories of the Japanese date back to my childhood. In our family, for years my father has had the opportunity to deal with the Japanese in the frameworks of business relations; he stands at the origins of the formation of Armenia-Japan diplomatic relations. My love towards the Japanese culture has been formed since the dark and cold 90ies. I remember looking forward to each new visit because interesting cultural packages were envisaged for my brother and me. The long-lasting relations, years of study in Japan also had their indelible trace on me. Japan is my love.

T. M. – On September 27, early in the morning, with the support and participation of Turkey Azerbaijan launched large-scale hostilities along the whole contact line with Artsakh. How did Japan react to the military operations ofthe criminal Azerbaijani-Turkish cooperation against the Republic of Artsakh?

A. V. – My own observations showed that despite of the large framework of cooperation with Azerbaijan and Turkey, the official reaction of the friendly Japan was rather balanced. Regarding the non-official reactions, let me mention that Azerbaijan and Turkey have a significant presence in Japan as compared to Armenia. I should state that the small local Armenian community self-organized and made efforts to counteract the disinformation in the field of information.

T. M. – What is the position of Japan regarding the Armenian Genocide?

A. V. – I think that we have a lot to do in this direction.It is encouraging that the relations between the two countries are getting closer year by year, which contributes to the deepening of traditional friendly relations based on common values, mutual trust, respect and effective cooperation.

It is a gratifying fact that we have Japanese specialists of Armenia, and they are mainly engaged in the study of the Armenian Genocide on the scientific platform.

Let’s not forget about Diana Abgar.Her enormous legacy on this issue is an invaluable contribution to building a history of friendly relations between the Armenian and Japanese nations.

It should be noted that within the frameworks of the official visit to Armenia in 2018, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan Taro Kono and the members of accompanying delegation visited Tsitsernakaberd Memorial and paid tribute to the victims of the Armenian Genocide. This fact is a big step forward.

T. M. – As a specialist of Japan you regularly make interesting studies and organize cultural events, which are mostly related to the Armenian-Japanese historical-cultural relations, the strengthening of the ties between the people of the two countries in the scientific field. Which is the subject of your current research?

A. V. – Many thanks for your appreciation (she smiles). It has been several years now that I study an exciting story, the subject of which, according to me, became more actual especially in these days of war. This refers to the events of the last stage of the Armenian Genocide carried out by the Turks, where a touching historical episode was left out of the pages of the history of the Armenian and Japanese nations. There are different reasons, but it is gratifying that almost a century later we succeeded to find a Japanese ship and reveal new facts, due to which some events became clearer. The way how the Japanese ship and its brave captain saved many Armenians from the Genocide will be soon revealed in our new article. I am sure that after a quick settlement of the current war situation, there will be organized a scientific event, where new facts will be revealed concerning the subject. Due to these a new and bright page will be opened in the history of the Armenian and Japanese relations. I am sure that this joint story will make the Armenian and the Japanese even closer.

T. M. – What is the reason for your interest in the Japanese ship, and where does the trajectory of the rescue ship take you?

A. V. – I have been to Greece and Japan to research this topic. I can say for sure that the topic is more relevant today. Here there are high manifestations of humanity, great emotions, deeds worthy of high and deep respect. I do not know how to convey my feelings to the reader. Throughout the study, there were times when I was in despair, then I made a discovery and rejoiced like a child. This “journey” is best described in a new animated film by the famous Greek animator Zachos Samolatas, the Armenian version of which will be shown for the first time during the presentation of the subject.

T. M. – Dear Anna Vardanyan, thank you for the interesting interview and for the important mission of revealing Japan and the Japanese for Armenia and the Armenians.  

A. V. – Thank you for the opportunity. Peace to our country.

The interview was conducted by Tehmine Martirosyan

Candidate of Historical Sciences

Senior scientific researcher of Museum Exhibitions Organization Section

“Armenian Genocide Museum-Institution” Foundation

 the material is taken from

translated from Armenian into English by M.Vardanyan