This year Serbia and Japan are marking the 140th anniversary of their friendship. Serbia was proclaimed a kingdom on March 6, 1882, and the first king of Serbia after the Nemanjić era, Milan Obrenović, sent messages to the rulers of many countries around the world, informing them about the restoration of Serbian statehood. Such a message was also sent to Imperial Tokyo, from where the answer of the Japanese Emperor Meiji arrived. The exchange of messages between the two sovereigns practically represents the beginning of bilateral contacts between the two countries.
In the first half of the 20th century, significant visits were made from Japan to Serbia, including representatives of the Japanese royal family, and the first trade agreement was signed in 1923. Friendly relations were renewed in 1952 when diplomatic missions of the two countries were opened in both Tokyo and Belgrade. The second half of the 20th century was marked by the visits of President Josip Broz Tito to Japan in 1968, Crown Prince Akihito to Belgrade in 1976 and Prime Minister of Japan Nakasone in 1987. In recent years, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Belgrade in January 2018 and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia, Ana Brnabić, attended the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito in October 2019 in Tokyo.
Contemporary bilateral relations between Serbia and Japan are constantly rising not only in terms of political dialogue but also in economic and other areas, with the presence of Japanese companies in our market, significant investment projects, and the opening of new perspectives for further cooperation. Serbs and Japanese were with each other even in difficult times, they nurture great mutual respect, kindness, solidarity, and interest in getting to know the cultural and historical heritage and traditions.
The motif on the stamp: portraits of King Milan I Obrenović and Japanese Emperor Meiji; details of their letters in the background. The motif on the cover: details of the diplomatic correspondence of the King of Serbia Milan Obrenović and Japanese Emperor Meiji in 1882.
Artistic realization of the issue: Nadežda Skočajić, academic graphic artist