“Japan Days” recognise German-Japanese friendship in anniversary year

Organisers planning decentralised concept and activities extending into autumn / Opening in May without Japanese fireworks


Düsseldorf, 20 February 2021. The city, the federal state and the Japanese community are celebrating 160 years of friendly relations between Japan and Germany with events in different locations around Düsseldorf. In 2021 “Japan Days” will bracket a number of events and activities, including the Dokomi in August. The programme will kick off in May – the traditional date for Japan Day Düsseldorf/NRW – but in light of the pandemic will not feature the popular fireworks display. In 2019, 600,000 people celebrated German-Japanese friendship on the Rhine. In 2020 the organisers had to cancel the festivities because of the pandemic.

A unique festival of culture and dialogue, every year Japan Day Düsseldorf/NRW attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors who want to experience the Japanese flavour of the city and enjoy the grand finale – a spectacular fireworks display on the Rhine. Given Covid-19, in 2021 it won’t be possible to stage quite such a lavish festival for so many people.

Many aspects of Japanese culture on show from May at “Japan Days”

Japan Day is jointly organised by the City of Düsseldorf, the state of NRW and the Japanese community. Unlike in 2020, they are not going to skip the festivities this year: To celebrate the 160th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries in befitting style, the organisers are planning a number of events and activities. Taking safety measures into consideration, they will be physically spaced, some will be virtual, and they will be spread across several months. The first Covid-compliant exhibitions, concerts and film screenings, along with an online manga drawing competition, will start the ball rolling in May. Further events and activities will take place throughout the summer and autumn, offering insights into Japan’s diverse culture. They include the Dokomi anime and Japan Convention which has been postponed to 7–8 August.

Japan Business Day is due to take place on 27 May 2021 as a virtual event. This year, the theme of the biggest German-Japanese business conference in Germany will be “Innovative Distribution and Logistics in light of Sustainability and the New Normal”.

The organisers are looking into whether the fireworks display can be staged in autumn. All “Japan Days” dates and events will be announced in good time and details will be published online. Japan Day Düsseldorf/NRW 2022 due to take place in May next year.

Japan Day has been jointly organised by the state capital Düsseldorf, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Japanese community since 2001.