Ambassador Fatimie, Diplomats accompany H.E. Mayor Nawandish on activities, host reception in His honor

November 4-5, 2012: Ambassador Dr. Sayed M. Amin Fatimie and the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Tokyo welcomed to Japan H.E. Mayor Yunus Nawandish of Kabul. H.E. arrived in Japan on November 4th to engage in a number of important activities and to meet with key Japanese officials.

On November 5th, Mr. Bahadir Kargar, Second Secretary, accompanied H.E. Mayor Nawandish on a number of key meetings. Firstly, H.E. the Mayor was warmly received by Dr. Akihiko Tanaka, President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency. H.E. Mayor Nawandish expressed deepest gratitude for the generous, effect-driving assistance that JICA has selflessly extended to all of Afghanistan, particularly mentioning the assistance in Kabul. A project that H.E. the Mayor would hail throughout His meetings with Japanese officials was the erection of a bridge in the area at the cost of US$5 million, as well as the assistance to Kabul International Airport through the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation. H.E. Mayor Nawandish presented President Tanaka with an authentic Afghan carpet as a token of gratitude for the organization and the President’s support. Following this meeting, H.E. the Mayor met with JICA’s Vice President Toshiyuki Kuroyanagi and Director-General Miura. In this second meeting, H.E. reiterated the sincerest appreciation of the people and the entire Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Shared of developments and key issues in both Kabul and in the New Kabul Metropolitan Area project, he again hailed the aforementioned projects and spoke on the excellent initiative that Japan and JICA will undertake: the paving of 55 kilometers of roads in Kabul. Furthermore, the issue of potential help with Kabul’s garbage disposal and the potential for its use in creating fuel was discussed with Vice President Kuroyanagi promising to look into the issue.

H.E. the Mayor then visited with Hon. Acting Governor Naoki Inose of Tokyo. Expressing the importance of relations between these two important capitals and centers of culture, H.E. the Mayor and the Hon. Governor spoke on a number of issues, including possible collaboration in Kabul’s energy sector.

H.E. Governor Nawandish was able to further pay a visit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan where He was well received by Director-General Kunio Umeda of the International Cooperation Bureau. In this important meeting, H.E. the Mayor was able to further express sincerest appreciation for the generous and life-bettering cooperation extended by Japan and this noble Ministry. Sharing of these priorities, including infrastructure and waste disposal, the two gentlemen engaged in very fruitful dialogue.

On the evening of the 5th, Ambassador Fatimie hosted at the Embassy a reception to welcome the distinguished delegation of H.E. Mayor Nawandish. The event was attended by JICA and Japanese Ministry officials as well as Afghan students and other prominent Afghan residents of Japan. Ambassador Fatimie in his opening speech welcomed the attendees, praising the work of H.E. the Mayor in his tireless and enlightened dedication to Kabul and its residents, offering words of encouragement in the efforts to come. H.E. Mayor Nawandish was also kind enough to share some words with the attendees, praising Japan’s cooperation and sharing of his successes and future vision of the metropolis. Following this, H.E. the Mayor presented Ambassador Fatimie with a pin of distinction. A film on the capital’s progress was also shown.

The reception was also attended by special guest Dr. Amanulla Hussaini (pictured below), Environmental Health Director at the Ministry of Public Health of Afghanistan. Dr. Hussaini has been in Japan for a series of important engagements on an official visit supported by the WHO. Ambassador Fatimie, who previously filled the role of Minister of Public Health, expressed highest regard for Dr. Hussaini's efforts to continue to facilitate ever-healthier lives for all Afghans.

Reports from various organizations on H.E. Mayor Nawandish's visits
Translations from the original Japanese by Mr. Jun Goto

Meeting with President Tanaka of JICA

On November 5, the President of JICA, Dr. Tanaka, met with Kabul Mayor Muhammad Yunus Nawandish at JICA’s headquarters.

Mayor Nawandish came to Japan to participate in the Kabul Metropolitan Development Cooperation Program to gain helpful information for the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development. In this visit, the Mayor plans to visit Tokyo, Yokohama, Hiroshima, and Kyoto to gain insight into the cities’ Urban Development Administration; the cities’ government-civic cooperation balance within urban development projects; the administrative policy regarding post-war reconstruction and its process, result, and approach towards the preservation of historical townscapes. With the knowledge gained from this visit, it is hoped that Kabul can improve its administrative abilities.

In August 2012, President Tanaka visited Afghanistan and exchanged opinions with Mayor Nawandish over the subject of reconstruction support/aid to Afghanistan. In the meeting today, Mayor Nawandish expressed his appreciation for Japan’s support through the Kabul Metropolitan Development Cooperation Program and subsequently playing such a significant role in rehabilitation support in Afghanistan.

After the meeting with President Tanaka, Mayor Nawandish met with Vice President Toshiyuki Kuroyanagi and exchanged opinions on the contributions towards the program.

In this Metropolitan Development Cooperation Program, the main focus is on the rehabilitation/urban renewal of the existing cities and the development of new cities. The project also contributes to efforts for raising human resource levels, organizing infrastructure in the new metropolitan area, and supporting urban renewal activities in present-day Kabul.

Meeting with Mr. Inose, Acting Governor of Tokyo

Kabul Mayor to Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office-2012. 11. 05 15:30-16:00
Kabul Mayor Mohammad Yunus Nawandish × Tokyo Deputy Governor Naoki Inose

Mayor: Thank you for making time to meet me today. I am very happy to see you today. The thing about Tokyo that made the greatest impression on me was its cleanliness. Despite many earthquakes, there are a large number of skyscrapers. Also, the roads are very well maintained and developed. After 30 years of war, our Kabul is a severely devastated city. Out of our 22 city districts, only two of them suffered minor damage. The other twenty districts were almost completely devastated.

Inose: So, out of all districts, two districts had minor damage. Was the administrative function concentrated in the two districts?

Mayor: The two districts did control some administrative functions as well, but the living environment (in the twenty districts) was completely destroyed. Now that the war is over, refugees are returning to Afghanistan. The population of Kabul (right after the war) was 1.2 million, but 8 years later it is now 5 million.

Inose: The population increased from 1.2 million to 5 million. How was the basic infrastructure, like electricity and water supply, managed?

Mayor: Water supply systems, electricity, road… all of these were completely destroyed. Even the electric cables were destroyed. In the construction of New Kabul City, the city has to maximize its administrative ability to create jobs and so forth. Fortunately, many international agencies and organizations are supporting Kabul and have displayed interest in us these two to three years. JICA is one of those organizations playing a significant role in supporting Kabul. Last year, we were able to build two bridges over the Kabul River with the support of Japan. In order to enhance our administrative function, we receive great support from Japan. The master plan to rebuild the new Kabul city was made possible thanks to the support from JICA.

Inose: Tokyo has strong technology. Through our urban planning, this water is from Tokyo but still delicious to drink. We have access to technology like this, so we can have seminars and traning programs according to the specific needs and problem. We will be glad to accept ideas for trainings and/or problem solving.

Meeting with the Governor of Hiroshima

Mr. Mohammad Yunus Nawandish, Mayor of Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital, visited the Governor of Hiroshima on November 7, 2012, expressing his appreciation for the support extended to the UNITAR Hiroshima led project aimed at providing training to officials from Afghanistan.

Mayor Nawandish emphasized that he would like to use Hiroshima’s development as a reference for Kabul city, as Kabul is in the midst of post-war reconstruction. The Mayor expressed appreciation for the training that Hiroshima Prefecture has financed post-war reconstruction and city development for thus far about 300 trainees from the Afghan government and related organizations.

Governor Yuzaki asked the Mayor of Kabul the observe through Hiroshima the importance of peace.

Mayor Nawandish visited Mr. Kazumi Matsui, Mayor of Hiroshima City on the same day. He came to Japan on November 4, 2012 at the invitation of JICA.