The efforts for the establishment of a cooperative relationship between the National Archives of Japan (NAJ) and the General Authority for Archives of Mongolia (GAAM) started from the 11th General Conference of the East Asian Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives (EASTICA), held at Chengdu, China, in 2013. Since then, we have visited each other’s countries, deepened our understanding of the archives management systems of both countries, and discussed specific archival projects. As a result of these efforts, NAJ and GAAM finally signed a Memorandum of Cooperation on archives and records management on the occasion of EASTICA held at Tokyo in November 2019.
As Japan and Mongolia celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations on February 24, 2022, the two countries agreed in 2020 to create and publish a website about the exchanges between Japan and Mongolia as the first project under the Memorandum of Cooperation. The recent situation where the global COVID-19 pandemic has made travel difficult, we were forced to give up the face to face meetings and prepare for the project via e-mails and online meetings.
And now, we are pleased to announce the launch of the website "Japan and Mongolia: Our History through Archival Records". Looking back the history, the relationship between Japan and Mongolia has not always been peaceful. After the end of World War II, the two countries made steady efforts in both public and private sectors toward the normalization of diplomatic relationships. Tokyo Olympic Games 1964 gave a good effect for the friendly relations of the two countries and finally in 1972, Japan and Mongolia established the formal diplomatic relationships. Since the 1990s, relations between the two countries have deepened further. This website consists of six chapters on different periods, focusing on materials mainly held by NAJ and GAAM.
I am convinced that this project to share these precious archival materials that have been preserved until today will contribute to further mutual understanding in the future and lead to the development of relations between Japan and Mongolia.
Finally, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Professor Borjigin HUSEL of Showa Women’s University, who supervised and provided valuable guidance for the entire project, as well as to the Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, National Institute for Defense Studies of the Ministry of Defense for making their collections accessible, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and GAAM and many other individuals and organizations for their support and cooperation in organizing this project. We thank all of you very much.
President, National Archives of Japan
Mongolia and Japan exchanged the Notes on February 24, 1972 in Moscow. This marks the beginning of official diplomatic relations between the two countries, and the Agreements were signed on cultural relations on September 23, 1974, and economic cooperation on March 17, 1977, respectively. However, full-fledged partnerships were limited until the 1990s.
Since 1990, as the democratic changes and reforms proceeded in Mongolia, the friendly relations and cooperation between the two countries have expanded.
Stronger ties were developed with the Comprehensive Partnership since 1998, and the Strategic Partnership since 2010.
Foreign policy concept of Mongolia was revised in 2011 and it was stated to expand the "third neighbor" partnerships and cooperation with Japan, and both countries have reached a new level of cooperation in the social, political, economic, cultural and educational matters.
In the field of archives, the memorandum of cooperation between the General Authority for Archives of Mongolia and the National Archives of Japan was signed during the annual meeting of EASTICA in Tokyo in 2019.
As a joint effort of the two organizations under the Memorandum of Cooperation, a virtual exhibition of archival documents and photos is to be held on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and Japan, to show the history of the relations and cooperation between the two countries.
The exhibition features many important archival documents and photographs that cover more than 700 years of relations and cooperation in 6 chapters. Included are: the diplomatic correspondences during the Yuan dynasty; archival records related with Japanese citizen lived and worked in Mongolia in the early 20th century; Letter to Japan from the Bogd Khanate; resolutions and decisions of the joint meetings of the Presidium of the Conference, the Council of Ministers, and the Central Committee of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party; and a letter from SHIGEMITSU Akira, Chargé d'Affaires of the Embassy of Japan in Moscow in 1961, on the issues of Mongolian-Japanese relations and a request to get acquainted with the development of Mongolia at that time.
We hope that this will mark a new page in the history of relations between the two organizations.
I am also confident that a new page will be written in the history of bilateral relations between Mongolia and Japan through the exhibition "Japan and Mongolia: Our History through Archival Records."
We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, NAJ and other people who actively participated in the exhibition.
Director-General, General Authority for Archives of Mongolia