Official Visit to Japan by H.E. President Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.

Official Visit to Japan by H.E. President Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.


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October 21 to October 23, 2019: On the invitation of the Imperial Household Agency of Japan and under the Auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Japan, H.E. President Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and H.E. First Lady Mrs. Rula Ghani, made an official visit to Japan in honor of the auspicious events held exalting the Enthronement Ceremony for His Majesty the Emperor of Japan. This was a most auspicious visit for H.E. President Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani as it was his first visit to Japan during his tenure as President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and since Japan is the second largest donor of aid and assistance to Afghanistan. Moreover, as the representative from Afghanistan, H.E. President Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani joined 196 other countries who sent their Kings, Crown Princes, Presidents, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, or leader to participate in the ceremonies.


Activities of October 21, 2019


Evening Arrival in Japan.

H.E. President Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and H.E. First Lady Mrs. Rula Ghani arrived at Japan’s Narita airport and were greeted by H.E. Ambassador Dr. Bashir Mohabbat, Dignitaries from the Embassy of Japan in Kabul, and other members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.


Activities of October 22, 2019


Interview with the Nikkei Shimbun, the Yomiuri Shimbun, and the NHK.


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H.E. President Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani had separate interviews with the Nikkei Newspaper – a Japan-based Newspaper which focuses on Economics, the Yomiuri Shimbun – a daily newspaper, and the NHK – Japan’s national broadcasting organization. In his statements across all three interviews he presented the achievements and progress of Afghanistan. He noted that one of the major accomplishments over the tenure of his office has been in Afghan-owned Afghan-led peace process strategies, the improvements in the role of women in Afghanistan, and in the democratic processes of the government.

In an interview with NHK, H.E. President Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani asserted that comparisons drawn between Syrian and Afghan security issues are problematic because the countries have very different respective internal circumstances. The President then explained that peace in Afghanistan is contingent upon direct talks between the Official Government of Afghanistan and the Taliban. He then pointed out that the withdrawal of US forces, however, is a separate issue that will be exclusively discussed between the United States and the Official Government of Afghanistan, not the Taliban. When asked further about the possibility of peace, the President emphasized that he and the Official Government of Afghanistan delight in and welcome the prospect of the Taliban participating as a proper political party. Weary of years of conflict, moderates in the Taliban increasingly desire reprieve from violence, engagement in peaceful talks, and involvement in the official political sphere. Turning from security questions, President Ghani spoke briefly on Japan’s role in helping Afghanistan, saying that Japan, haven given so much while asking for nothing in return, is the model for international citizenship. He told the interviewer that Afghanistan is eagerly awaiting Japanese direct investment, and that Afghanistan has so much to offer, especially in terms of natural resources - especially in lithium. In his final comments, the president pointed to the increasing role Afghan women play in the highest ranks of government to proclaim that Afghanistan is proving to the world that national institutions can change.

In his interview with the Nikkei Shimbun he remarked that the election process was a secure one thanks to the efforts of Afghanistan’s Self Defense Forces and Police forces, and well management by the respective governmental agencies, thus allowing the prosperous voting process to be available to all which should make the results acceptable to all. In regards to the “One Belt One Road” cooperative he proclaimed that without Afghanistan’s participation in it, it would not be complete because Afghanistan is essential to a successful process.

With regard to the peace process with the Taliban, H.E. President Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani stated that the nation’s government is quite ready negotiate with the Afghan components of the Taliban however that Pakistan needs to cooperate with the Afghan-owned Afghan-led process and formally guarantee their support and commitment with the Afghan Government in order to assure regional as well as global peace. Also noting that the Afghan Government is ready to negotiate with the Taliban on the condition that they completely cut their ties with international terror organizations, cut their ties with the Pakistan Government, and vow to work with the Afghan Government on creating peace for the benefit of the Afghan people as well as the world.

When asked what his agenda for the next 5 years would be were he to be declared the winner by the Independent Election Commission, H.E. President Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani stated that he did not want to see Afghanistan become the next “fallen state” so he would make it the goal of his office to fight poverty. He stated that he already has a plan in place to help bolster the economy of the country. Further he stated he wanted to invest further in infrastructure and urban development so he would like to create more dams thus allowing water to be controlled well and accessible to all Afghans, and additionally would like to further invest in the mining of Afghanistan’s many natural resources, particularly in Lithium.


Participation in the Ceremony of the Enthronement of His Majesty the Emperor at the Seiden (State Hall) at the Imperial Palace.


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In an official role serving as the representative for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, H.E. President Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and H.E. First Lady Mrs. Rula Ghani attend the traditional Ceremony of the Enthronement of His Majesty the Emperor. It is a ceremony in which the enthronement is officially proclaimed and the representatives from home and abroad express their felicitations.


Meeting with the Hon. Mr. Natsuo Yamaguchi, Chief Representative of the Komei Party and Member of the House of Councilors of Japan.

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First and foremost, on behalf of the people and Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, H.E. President Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani expressed sincerest condolences to Japan and the victims of the horrible flooding due to the recent typhoons, through Hon. Mr. Natsuo Yamaguchi, Chief Representative of the Komei Party. Further he not only thanked Hon. Mr. Yamaguchi for meeting with him but also for the kind and generous support of Japan to Afghanistan over the years. Japan and the Komei party have offered assistance over the years in development, Hospital building, construction of the Karzai International Airport, infrastructure enhancement, capacity development, and in IED detecting equipment. Additionally, he requested even further assistance by Japan and its Government in the form of even more direct investment in the private sectors of Afghanistan to help enhance the economy.

In return, the Hon. Mr. Yamaguchi assured H.E. President Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani that Japan was committed to continue its support of Afghanistan and would do all in its power to help it continue the progress and development it has demonstrated.


Meetings with Dr. Khaled Rashad and Mr. Shujiro Yano.

While in Japan, H.E. President Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani took the opportunity to meet with different business owners in Japan. First with Dr. Khaled Rashad, a notable and respected member of the Afghan community living in Japan, they met to discuss the logistics for Dr. Reshad’s NGO to build convalescent hospitals for the elderly in Kandahar; Dr. Reshad’s home province. The subsequent meeting with Mr. Shujiro Yano, President of the Shokozan Mining Co.,Ltd. was done to discuss his company’s efforts in talc mining in Afghanistan as well as their interest and business proposals to expand into the Agricultural sector; with H.E. President Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani vowing to assist endeavors to bring more direct investment into Afghanistan from Japanese companies like Mr. Yano’s.


Attendance at Court Banquet following the Ceremony of the Enthronement.

H.E. President Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and H.E. First Lady Mrs. Rula Ghani attended the grand Court Banquet following the Ceremony of Enthronement hosted by the Imperial Household Agency at the Imperial Palace. While at the event they had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with the most distinguished guest representing their respective countries while celebrating the most auspicious occasion of His Majesty’s Enthronement.


Activities of October 23, 2019


Meeting with H.E. Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan.


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H.E. President Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani had the pleasure of meeting with H.E. Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan to whom he first expressed sincerest condolences on behalf of the people and Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for Japan’s recent devastating floods and the victims as his wishes for Japan’s speedy recovery. Further he thanked the people and Government of Japan for their steadfast and benevolent assistance over the years that through their comprehensive programs and benevolent assistance which supports the development and rebuilding of social, political, and economic foundations, Afghanistan has achieved tremendous momentum. In addition, they have actively assisted in the management of infrastructural growth, urban planning, and natural disasters preparation; and requested that they continue as such and further their support and assistance in more infrastructural development such as with new dams as well as investment in the private sector – in particular of the mining industry and especially the harvesting of lithium , as well as the most keen investment in the Afghan people’s future through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)’s capacity development.

In return, H.E. Prime Minister Abe not only thanked H.E. President Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani for his official visit to attend the Enthronement ceremonies, his kind words, but also for the long historic relations of the two countries going back thousands of years as is evident through the Buddhas of Bamiyan Valley. H.E. Prime Minister Abe assured him that Japan would continue to support Afghanistan well into the future.


Meeting with H.E. Mr. Shinichi Kitaoka, President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency.


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H.E. President Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani had the pleasure of meeting with H.E. Mr. Shinichi Kitaoka, President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and holder of the Ghazi Mir Masjidi Khan High State Medal. On behalf of the people and Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan he thanked H.E. Mr. Kitaoka and all of the members of JICA for their hard work, valiant endeavors, and many successes over the years in helping to advance Afghanistan and her people. Further he kindly requested they add to their efforts helping to enhance their investment in Afghanistan’s agricultural and irrigation sectors as well as further their mining venture to harvest more of Afghanistan’s many natural resources including lithium.

In return, H.E. Mr. Kitaoka vowed that JICA would continue its efforts in Afghanistan and very much looks forward to finding many more ways to optimize its assistance in agriculture & irrigation, as well as develop new ways to enhance mining of Afghanistan’s many valuable natural resources to help the country achieve self-sustainability.


Guest Lecture and Tree Planting Ceremony at Nippon Sports Science University.


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Under the invitation of the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Nippon Sport Science University (NSSU), H.E. President Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani gave a guest lecture at NSSU that was well-attended by H.E. Ambassador Dr. Bashir Mohabbat, Embassy of Afghanistan Diplomats, students, professors, and journalists. Opening remarks were given by Professor Kenshiro Matsunami, and followed by H.E. Mr. Mitsuji Suzuka, Ambassador of Japan to Kabul who spoke on the strong relations between Afghanistan and Japan.

Following this, H.E. President Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani gave his lecture thanking the Board of Directors for organizing this event and allowing him the honor of speaking at NSSU to their students. He congratulated Japan on the Enthronement Ceremony of His Majesty the Emperor, which brought his Official Visit to Japan, as well as expressed sincerest condolences to Japan in light of the recent floodings due to the typhoons. He remarked that due to the common cultural bonds which unite Afghanistan and Japan, in times of both joy and sorrow the people of Afghanistan share the joys and the sorrows with the Japanese people. Further he thanked the the Japanese Government, diplomats, and JICA for their strong assistance to Afghanistan, noting that the effective, efficient and transparent generosity has touched the hearts and minds of Afghans. He impressed a most important thanks to the Japanese people who give so generously, without wanting back, and give without strings attached just because they believe in equality and security for all. H.E. President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani hoped that Japan, like this university who trains people to become the best champions, will help to train Afghanistan how to reach its optimal potential by bringing Afghans the Japan-style of cooperation, teamwork, leadership in task-oriented goals rather than egocentric goals. Following his lecture, Afghan students studying in Japan presented H.E. President Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani with a floral bouquet. After the lecture, there was a tree planting ceremony between H.E. President Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, H.E. Ambassador Mr. Suzuka, and the rectors of the University.


Attendance at Banquet Hosted by H.E. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

As the final engagement in Japan, H.E. President Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and H.E. First Lady Mrs. Rula Ghani attended the grand banquet in honor of the Enthronement of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan hosted by H.E. Prime Minister & Mrs. Abe. H.E. President Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani extended sincerest thanks to hosts H.E. Prime Minister & Mrs. Abe for their kind invitation to the grand event and expressed just how much he had enjoyed all of his time here during his short stay in Japan. Further he expressed his continued good wishes for the people and Government of Japan and that their respective countries would continue to prove good friends through their support of each other, collaborations, and strong ties. In return, H.E. Prime Minister Abe again thanked H.E. President Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani & H.E. First Lady Mrs. Rula Ghani for coming to Japan for the Imperial ceremonies, wished them a safe return, and hoped they would again visit Japan in the future.