The Embassy of Japan in Bucharest announced on Monday that the conductor of the State Philharmonic in Targu Mures, Shinya Ozaki, is on the list of the 108 people who have received this year the Award of the Foreign Minister of Japan’s Government. ‘Master Shinya Ozaki has been for over 20 years the permanent conductor of the State Philharmonic in Targu Mures, a time span in which he has made all efforts to develop the Japanese-Romanian cultural exchanges through music. He has also contributed to organizing numerous promotion events for the Japanese culture in Romania and the Romanian culture in Japan, as the local representative of the Kumamoto Romania Association, set up in 2002. The Award of the Foreign Minister of Japan is granted to the people or organizations that brought a significant contribution to the promotion of friendship relations between Japan and other countries, in various fields,’ reads a press release issued by the Embassy of Japan in Bucharest and quoted by Agerpres. Conductor Shinya Ozaki was born in Japan, in Kagoshima, in 1959, to a family of art teachers. According to the website of the State Philharmonic in Targu Mures, Shinya Ozaki began studying piano at the age of four, finished his musical studies at the Toho Gakuen School of Music (Japan), and had among his teachers Seiji Ozawa and Jean Fournet. In June 1998, Shinya Ozaki was awarded the ‘Pro Urbe’ title from the Targu Mures’ City Hall, three years later he was awarded the ‘Merit of Cultural Exchanges’ by Romania’s Ambassador to Japan, and in 2005 he was awarded the ‘Cultural Merit’ by Romania’s President.