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National Assembly Chairman Georgi Pirinski Welcomed Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino
May 14, 2009

The meeting held at the National Assembly was also attended by the chair of the parliamentary Bulgaria – Japan friendship group Boyko Velikov, the Bulgarian ambassador in Japan Blagovest Sendov and the ambassador of Japan in Bulgaria Tsuneharu Takeda.

Georgi Pirinski welcomed the guests and said the visit was taking place at the same time as the marking of the 50th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic relations between Bulgaria and Japan, of which the two countries' dynamically developing friendly relations are an eloquent proof. Chairman Pirinski emphasized the active role of the two parliaments in the bilateral relations. He also said that he kept a fond memory of his official visit to Japan in 2006 and of the Emperor Akihito's reception when the Emperor highly praised the traditionally friendly relations between Bulgaria and Japan.

Pirinski briefed the guests on the activity of the 40th National Assembly. He stressed that in the first two years, the latter was busy with adopting the legislation needed for the membership of the country in the European Union. He explained that in 2009 Bulgaria is marking the 130 years since the first Constituent Assembly and Constitution. He mentioned as well that Bulgaria had celebrated last year the 100th years since its Independence. In his words these two important dates in the recent history of the country were an occasion to reflect on the rich historic and cultural heritage of the Bulgarian people and its place in the family of the European countries.
He thanked Japan for its valuable contribution to the preservation and promotion of Thracian heritage.

The Prince and Princess Akishino said that although they were visiting Bulgaria for the first time, they, like many Japanese people, know about and are impressed with Bulgaria's rich culture, part of which the Thracian heritage is.
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