Japan and the Netherlands share a history rooted in over 400 years of relations. Between 1639 and 1853, the Dutch were even the only Europeans allowed to trade with Japan. Myriad Dutch ships, mostly of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), have sailed back and forth to the island nation. This has left its tangible and intangible traces of maritime heritage still present in Japan today. The International Programme for Maritime Heritage therefore works closely together with several Japanese partners to jointly research these unique traces of shared maritime heritage.