Japan-Croatia Friendship House Project

time: 15.03.2010. - 31.03.2010.
place: Tokamachi, Japan
organiser: City of Tokamachi
 On March 5, 2010 in the city of Tokamachi in Niigata Prefecture on the central Japanese island of Honshu, organized by the city of Tokamachi, the launching of the Japan-Croatia Friendship House Project was introduced to the public.

At a news conference visited by numerous Japanese journalists, local and national radio and television networks, members of the Tokamachi Football Association, the representatives of the building contractor ILYA as well as numerous citizens, those present were addressed by the Mayor of Tokamachi Yoshifumi Sekiguchi. His opening words referred to the historical reasons for the construction of the House, dating from 2002 when the Croatian football team stayed in Tokamachi during the World Cup in Japan and South Korea. The Mayor welcomed the attending Croatian Ambassador to Japan Dr. Drago Štambuk and thanked him for initiating this project and taking a great personal effort to bring it to the final phase. After the speech, the Mayor unveiled the official name of the project: Japan-Croatia Friendship House, and then Ambassador Štambuk took the word. 

Ambassador Štambuk, calling Tokamachi the capital of the Japanese-Croatian friendship, said that he for years urged local authorities to start this project, and that finally two years ago, a financial structure was drawn up with, on his part prompted, preliminary design of Croatian architects Vinko Penezić and Krešimir Rogina, already established in Japan. The project was later adapted to the climate conditions in Tokamachi, marked by a large amount of snow, the largest in this Asian country. 

Now that the project is finalized, the Croatian architectural duo Penezić & Rogina, who also attended the presentation, explained the project's premises and details. They specified that they were guided by the heritage and symbols of both countries and thus made it the project with a high architectural and symbolic value. With the Ambassador and the Mayor they jointly displayed a model of the House and presented it to the Mayor. In the darkened room of the press conference the model radiated the eternal light of friendship, which is derived from the combination of the Japanese lantern and the Croatian lighthouse, symbolic of the House of Friendship. 

Construction of the Japan-Croatia Friendship House will start in May of this year. A grand opening of the facility is expected on September 2, 2011. 

Sanja Željeznjak
Tokamachi, 5 March, 2010.

(Source: CROWN)

(D.H., 15.03.2010)