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Nations celebrate 400-year link

Wreaths were laid at the memorial of the man in charge of the East India Company to celebrate the 400th anniversary of contact between Britain and Japan.

Sir Thomas Smythe was head of the company in 1613 when the two countries first made contact.

He died on September 4, 1625 and is buried at St John the Baptist Church, Sutton-at-Hone, where there is also a memorial to him.

Wreath laying ceremony at Sir Thomas Smythe's tomb
Wreath laying ceremony at Sir Thomas Smythe's tomb

The event was organised by Japan400 which commemorates the start of diplomatic, trading, scientific and cultural relations between Britain and Japan.

Throughout the year, it has organised celebrations of friendship between the two countries.

The ceremony at the church on Friday was attended by the direct ancestor of the Shogun with whom the first explorers of the East India company made contact.

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