Japanese towns celebrate 400 yrs of bilateral ties with Mexico | world | Hindustan Times
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Japanese towns celebrate 400 yrs of bilateral ties with Mexico

world Updated: Jun 13, 2009 14:26 IST

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Residents of Japanese towns of Onjuku and Otaki welcomed a Mexican ship to celebratethe 400th anniversary of friendship between Japan and Mexico,which commenced with rescue efforts by the residents'ancestors.

Cuauhtemoc, an 1,800-ton navy cadet training ship arrivedoff Onjuku, east of Tokyo, in the early hours yesterday.

Way back in 1609, the San Francisco, a Spanish galleon traveling from the Philippines to New Spain, the Spanish
colony that later gained independence as Mexico, had shipwrecked off the coast of what is now Onjuku.

Local fishermen had rescued 317 people from the vessel.

At the welcoming ceremony for the crew, Onjuku Mayor Yoshihiro Ishida said 400 years after a "fateful encounter"between residents and those rescued from the wrecked vessel San Francisco, their descendants had a "moving" meeting.

"I'm grateful for the fact that the prosperity of bothcountries is based on exchanges that started 400 years ago,"he added.

Mexican Ambassador to Japan Miguel Ruiz Cabanas expressed his appreciation for the rescue efforts, saying

Mexican people will "never forget the heroic and humanitarian action" of Onjuku fishermen. (Kyodo)