Ambassador Fatimie, Embassy host reception to commemorate JICA program on natural disasters and disaster management

February 5, 2014: Ambassador Dr. Sayed M. Amin Fatimie and the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Tokyo hosted a reception in honor of the visit of H.E. Dr. Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal, Minister of Finance of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. H.E. Minister Zakhilwal, accompanied by Mr. Musa Kamawi, Director of Human Resources at the Ministry of Finance, had been in Japan on an important visit at the invitation of UNITAR, where he also met with key Japanese figures such as H.E. Mr. Taro Aso, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance; H.E. Mr. Nobuo Kishi, Senior Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs; and President Akihiko Tanaka of JICA.

The reception was attended by a number of dignitaries, including Mr. Tsukasa Uemura, Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Middle Eastern and African Affairs Bureau; Mr. and Mrs. Kenshiro Matsunami of Nippon Sport Science University; Hon. President Masayuki Inoue of Japan Educational Exchanges and Services; Executive Vice President Eiji Taguchi of the Japan Foundation; President Otohiko Endo of the Institute of Global Business Strategies; and Director Han-Deog Cho of the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Ambassador Dr. Fatimie made opening remarks in which he discussed the significance of H.E. the Minister’s visit in the overall context of the warm Afghan-Japanese relations. The full text of the Ambassador’s speech can be read by clicking here.

Remarks were also shared by H.E. Minister Zakhilwal (pictured below), Mr. and Mrs. Matsunami, Director General Uemura, and Director Cho. The following are highlights from their respective remarks in order of delivery. First, Mr. Matsunami spoke on the efforts of he and his associates to support Afghanistan thus far and the motivation to continue. He mentioned his University had been able to bestow an honorary doctorate on H.E. President Hamid Karzai in 2012. Director Uemura welcomed H.E. the Minister and vowed to continue in his role in partnering with Afghanistan. Director Cho also extended a welcome, and shared of JICA’s PEACE scholarship program, which has been successfully bringing Afghan officials to Japan to receive higher education. Mrs. Matsunami introduced individuals who have been working to support Afghanistan, sharing of each person’s individual roles.

In His remarks, H.E. Minister Zakhilwal firstly expressed gratitude to Ambassador Fatimie and those who have supported this successful 4th visit to Japan; He would later award some certificates of appreciation in regards. H.E. the Minister also expressed sincerest gratitude for Japan’s key role as a leading supporter in Afghanistan’s development. Expressing the natural brotherly bond between the nations, he mentioned cultural similarities as well as the 1971 visit of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan, then the Crown Prince and Crown Princess, to Afghanistan. Sharing of the progress that has been realized since 2001, H.E. spoke of optimism of continued future gains.