Japan History: Italy & Japan 150 Years of Friendship

Italy & Japan 150 Years of Friendship

Photo Credits: Ambasciata del Giappone

150 years of friendship between Italy and Japan was celebrated in 2016.
This relationship between these two countries dates back to 1866, on the 4th of July, when an Italian military ship sent by King Vittorio Emanuele II arrived in Yokohama port to offering a treaty of friendship and commerce.
Back then, both countries had a common goal. They were eager to close the economic distance that separating them from the other more influential and powerful countries in those days.

Photo Credits: L’inviato Speciale

An alliance for better or for worse

After the end of First World War, Italy and Japan experienced same outcome. They both won the conflict, however both felt “betrayed” following the Versailles Treaty. Italy suffered from the indignation of not getting all the territories that it expected while Japan suffered from diplomatic defeats in the rejection of Japan’s bid for a racial equality. Moreover, the two countries were experiencing critical post-conflict economic situations that would have led towards a totalitarian regime of the Second World War.
In 1937, Italy went against the Russian’s communist politics, like how Japan did when they signed the Anti-Komintern Pact with Hitler’s Germany. In the following year, the fascist national party landed in Japan, and Mussolini’s works were translated into Japanese. The Germany-Japan-Italy Tripartite Agreement was signed, creating the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo alliance. In that period Mussolini made several visits to Japan.
All those who refused to join the fascist party in Japan were interned in the camps at Nagoya.
The atomic bombs dropped to Nagasaki and Hiroshima hit Japan hard and both Italy and Japan had to recover from the tragedies caused by the war. At the end of the Second World War, both countries underwent radical transformations.

Photo Credits: Il turista curioso.it

An eternal bridge

The bridges built between the two countries continued to multiply over the years. In 1970, the first intercontinental television link between NHK and RAI broadcasters led to new cultural exchanges, allowing the products and lifestyles, from food to martial arts and increasingly intense linguistic exchanges, to grow ever closer.

In recent times, the mutual influence between the two nations also translated into architectural works.
Architect Kenzo Tange, who gave Tokyo its present-day landscape, designed numerous buildings in Italy, like the towers of the Bologna exhibition center and the business center of Naples, while Renzo Piano designed the Osaka airport and Ushibuka Bridge.

These days, Japan and Italy continue to enjoy cordial and friendly exchanges, growing and strengthening their relationship with each other as they always have through the past 150 years.

Metropolitan Governement Building Shinjuku Park Tower
Photo Credits: Japan italy Bridge

Ushibuka bridge, Photo Credits: Wikipedia.org