Mitsuhiro affirms efforts for strong Pak-Japan ties

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Japan Ambassador to Pakistan hosts exclusive reception for Journalists

Ansar M Bhatti

Islamabad: Japan Ambassador to Pakistan WADA Mitsuhiro speaks during the reception for journalist held his residence. “First of all, I would like to extend my warmest welcome to you at my residence.  This reception is exclusively arranged for our journalist friends.” 

“I hope tonight will be an opportunity to further deepen your understanding of Japan and Japan-Pakistan relations. My staff from Political, Economic & Development, and Public Affairs Sections are waiting for talking with you. JICA’s Chief Representative, Mr. Kinoshita, is also here. Thank you, Mr. Kinoshita, for joining us tonight.”

He said, “The Chief of the Public Affairs Section, Mr. Takane, newly arrived here. Some of you might remember the Kendo performance in the Self-Defense Forces Day reception on November 1st. One of the newspapers put a photo of the performance. That was him.”  

“I want you to enjoy meeting each other while you taste the Japanese cuisine that my Japanese chef has prepared especially for you.”

Ambassador Mitsuhiro further said, “Our two countries celebrated the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations last year and have continued to develop the relationship this year. My staff will give you the details later, but I would like to share some of the highlights”

“Last summer, Pakistan experienced the largest flood in its history. Prime Minister Kishida sent a message saying that Japan will always be with Pakistan and will spare no effort to provide the necessary support for the earliest possible recovery of the affected areas.”  

“In January, Japan pledged approximately 77 million US dollars in assistance for the recovery from the flood damage, more than half of which has already been disbursed. As part of this pledge, a grant aid project was signed last month. This is a project to rebuild 9 schools or 44 classrooms in Sindh Province. JICA and Government of Sindh are being prepared for implementation.” 

Talking about the history of Pak-japan friendship he said, “Japan has been providing development assistance to Pakistan since 1954 and we will celebrate 70th anniversary of our ODA cooperation next year. Please talk with Mr. Kinoshita and the staff of the Economic & Development Section later for details of our efforts.”

“Secondly, I would like to mention Foreign Minister’s visit to Japan in July. I attended the meeting between the two Ministers in Tokyo and saw them having an open and frank exchange of views.While Pakistan is heading toward general elections, we have a new Foreign Minister, Ms. Yoko Kamikawa.”

“She recently visited Palestine and Israel to discuss the situation especially how to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza. Between the governments of Japan and Pakistan, we have several high-level consultation frameworks including Foreign Secretary Level Political Dialogue, which was held in June. In the coming year and beyond, we will make use of the frameworks to move bilateral relations forward.”

Talking about the business relations between Pakistan and Japan he said, “In September, I visited Sialkot with Japanese companies in order to explore further strengthening business ties. During the visit, I was very happy to learn that Japan’s artificial leather, stainless steel, and other materials make it possible to produce high-quality soccer balls, surgical instruments and sports wears for export to the rest of the world.”

“Today, more than 80 Japanese companies are doing their business in Pakistan with a creation of more than 80,000 jobs. They have shared and transferred their knowledge, technologies and experiences while local partners have facilitated the Japanese business people in all phases of business cycle as “dereenah dost.”

They are currently facing a difficult time amid the current economic situation in Pakistan. I would like to do my best to ensure that the business relationship between the two countries does not suffer any setbacks”, he said.

While talking about the cultural and people-to-people relations he stated, “last but not least, cultural and people-to-people exchanges are the foundation of the Japan-Pakistan relationship. This year, we are holding events such as a Karate session and a Japanese film festival, as well as conducting scholarship programs as in previous years.”

“In this regard, I would like to mention that the Government of Japan has conferred the Imperial Decorations on Mr. Imtiaz Ahmad, former Ambassador to Japan. He trained in Japan to master the Japanese language and contributed to strengthening friendship, cultural and economic relations and mutual understanding. Followed by him, Dr. Gazala Irfan, President of the Pakistan Japan Cultural Association Lahore, has also been conferred the honor for her contributions on the promotion of the cultural relationships for many years”, he said.

“I hope that more and more young people of Japan and Pakistan will become interested in each other’s culture and people, and further develop bilateral relations towards the 80th, 90th, and 100th anniversaries of our relationship.”

At the end affirmed his commitment to further enhancing ties between both countries. He sai, “As the Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan, I assure you that I am fully committed to further developing our long-standing friendship through various channels.  

Once again, you are very important part of this effort.”