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Japan announced guest of honour at 37th Sharjah International Book Fair … reports Asian Lite News.

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Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), organisers of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), has announced Japan as the Guest of Honour for the upcoming edition of the fair, which runs from October 31 – November 10 at Sharjah Expo Centre. The selection aligns with SBA’s dedication to introducing Arab readers and intellectuals to the cultural gems of the far east.

Japan’s selection as the Guest of Honour at 37th edition of the event celebrates its cultural achievements with books playing a key role in building culture and fostering social ethics. Japan has a history of cultural achievements and a host of renowned intellectuals, authors and artists across its cultural scene, including cinema, music and literature. As befits its status, Japan nurtured the cultural sector with many titles – translated into Arabic – written by a host of critically acclaimed Japanese novelists, such as Yukio Mishima, Kazuo Ishiguro, Nobel Prize Laureate and Haruki Murakami, among other creative authors.

The design of Japanese pavilion at SIBF exemplifies Japan’s rich cultural features. Many events and workshops will be organised in celebration of Japan’s selection as the guest of honour at the fair. The pavilion will also see an array of seminars, discussion panels, creative sessions conducted by a host of Japanese authors and artists.

HE Ahmed Al Ameri, Chairperson of the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA). (Supplied Photo)

HE Ahmed Al Ameri, Chairperson of the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), said: “SIBF is a cultural incubator that brings together nations from around the world and focuses on their cultural achievements, and develop a collective memory, the core of which is creativity and knowledge for all nations. This is why the selection of Japan as the guest of honour aligns with SIBF’s inclusive cultural project, which is exemplified by the unique experiences of nations and how they live by harmonising traditionality and modernity, the past and future, urbanism and ethics in their cultures, through literature and the arts.”

Al Ameri underscored that the uniqueness of the Japan’s experience is the outcome of its unique relationship with books and the attention it pays to authors and creative people.

“That explains our keenness to select Japan as the guest of honour at SIBF’s 37th edition and introduce Arab and Emirati readers to its cultural and humane achievements. The selection represents not only an opportunity to explore Japanese creative experiences, but also offers a bridge for cross-cultural communication with Eastern Asia and its overall history, expertise and experience that fuel human development,” he noted.

“Every year, SIBF is keen to introduce Arab readers to new cultures in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, who underscores that knowledge and creativity are a gateway that bring together all civilisations and cultures, transcend all differences and converge all points of view. In doing so, it serves Sharjah’s cultural project, which adopts at its basis, enhancing mutual humane commonalities and furthering peace, love and co-existence,” he added.

Dr. Akima Umezawa, Consul-General of Japan in Dubai, said, “it is our utmost pleasure and great honour to be invited as a Guest of Honour at the 37th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair, held in the UAE. The Japanese pavilion will be a showcase of Japan’s diversified modern cultures such as literature, foods, nature and technologies”.

Japanese Flag (Supplied Photo)

Dr. Umezawa also thanked H.E. Ahmed Al Ameri, Chairperson of the SBA about this precious opportunity to introduce Japanese publishing culture to the readers in the UAE and the region He expected this book fair will strengthen cultural ties between Japan and UAE, especially Sharjah through sharing the wide range of people-to-people exchange at the world third largest book fairs.

SIBF established itself as the third largest book fair in the world and furthered its remarkable impact on intellectuals and authors from around the world. Through hosting literary and cultural personalities and events from fraternal countries year after year, it underlines that Sharjah’s cultural project and vibrant presence at the agenda of global cultural events has become an international testimony of its stature as a permanent destination for intellectuals, authors, publishers and those involved with the cultural sector and publishing industry at the local, regional and global levels.

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