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1 Apr 2019

Iosif Goshkevich statue unveiled in Japan

Iosif Goshkevich statue unveiled in Japan
Photo courtesy of the Belarusian Embassy in Japan

MINSK, 1 April (BelTA) - The bust of Iosif Goshkevich, a native of Minsk Province, the first consul of the Russian Empire in Japan, has been unveiled in the Hakodate Cultural Center, Hokkaido Prefecture, BelTA has learned from the Belarusian Embassy in Tokyo.

The ceremony on 29 March was attended by Russian diplomats, the head of the local Orthodox church, and representatives of the branch of the Far Eastern Federal University. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Belarus to Japan Ruslan Yesin stressed the need for further work to preserve the common historical heritage as he addressed the ceremony.

The bust of Iosif Goshkevich was made by Soviet sculptor Oleg Komov and was donated to the Goshkevich Memorial Society in Hakodate by the Union of Soviet Societies of Friendship and Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries in 1989. In the 1990s and 2000s, repeated attempts were made to put the monument in one of the public places of the city. Thanks to the joint efforts of the Belarusian, Russian and Japanese sides, the sculpture has finally been installed in the Hakodate Cultural Center.

Iosif Goshkevich was a diplomat, orientalist, traveler, first consul of the Russian Empire in Japan and author of the first ever Japanese-Russian dictionary. Iosif Goshkevich is an important figure in the Belarusian-Japanese bilateral relations. His memory is equally honored by both Belarusian and Russian diplomats, and also by representatives of Japan. He blazed a trail, laid the foundations and set guidelines for future generations as many have learned from his dictionaries and books.

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