Tokyo, January 7, AZERTAC
“Azerbaijan has become a hub for international events,” said senior research fellow at Japanese Sasakawa Peace Foundation, professor at the University of Tokyo Akira Matsunaga as he was interviewed by AZERTAC’s Tokyo-based special correspondent. He said influential figures from different parts of the world gather in Baku to discuss key global issues. “Many people came from China, Russia, America and from every continent to the 4th Baku International Humanitarian Forum that I also attended. The forum brought together people from various nations and of various religions. We had broad discussions on cultural exchange. Azerbaijan’s favorable geopolitical position makes it possible for such gatherings where public figures from Europe and Asia have the opportunity to come together and hold important discussions.”
Professor Matsunaga said: "Azerbaijani and Japanese cultures are very close to each other. Both in Azerbaijan and in Japan the guest is someone who is held in great respect. Despite great distance between Japan and Azerbaijan, as many other ancient Asian nations our people share common values.”
He also commented on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “Azerbaijan’s efforts to free occupied territories are totally understandable.” He said that since the start of the conflict Armenia, thanks to its huge diaspora network, has spread false information about the conflict to the whole world. Due to these efforts Armenia has been recognized as a victim, the Japanese professor said. “I think that Azerbaijan should increase its efforts towards promoting the root cause of the conflict. As an expert on the region I am well informed of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. However, many people still believe Armenia’s false information. Azerbaijan should use both media and internet resources as well as other tools to highlight the true essence of the conflict.”
Professor Matsunaga also revealed plans to publish a new book about Azerbaijan. “The book will provide an insight into Azerbaijan’s rich history, ancient culture, modern policy, Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and Japanese-Azerbaijani relations,” he added.