ISLAMABAD: Outgoing Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan Kuninori Matsuda held two separate meetings with Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Dr Arif Alvi on Monday.
During the meeting in the Prime Minister's House, Prime Minister Imran Khan stressed that the world community must remain positively engaged with the new Afghan administration, provide urgently-needed humanitarian assistance, and take steps to prevent economic collapse including through release of Afghanistan’s frozen assets. He also underlined the importance of national reconciliation and an inclusive political structure.
The prime minister congratulated the ambassador on the successful completion of his tenure in Pakistan and conveyed best wishes for future assignment. The ambassador thanked the prime minister for addressing a letter to the new Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, and recalled the prime minister’s engagement with the Japanese dignitaries on various issues.
Prime Minister Imran Khan underscored the high importance Pakistan attached to its relationship with Japan, which was embedded in mutual trust and understanding. He reaffirmed Pakistan’s strong desire to further deepen and broaden bilateral cooperation in the economic, trade, development, and investment sectors.
In the regional context, the prime minister underscored Pakistan’s vital interest in a peaceful and stable Afghanistan. The Japanese ambassador thanked the prime minister for his strong leadership in further solidifying Pakistan’s relations with Japan and in support of peace and stability in the region and beyond.
The ambassador also conveyed profound thanks to the Government of Pakistan for facilitation of evacuation of Japanese nationals and others from Afghanistan. Ambassador Matsuda also highlighted the MoU signed between the two sides on export of manpower from Pakistan to Japan under Technical Intern Training Programme (TITP) and Specified Skilled Workers (SSW) Programme. It was emphasized to re-double efforts to realize the benefits of the MoU.
The year 2022 will mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Pakistan and Japan. The two sides seek celebration of this milestone in a befitting manner, said the Prime Minister Office. In another meeting between President Dr Arif Alvi and outgoing Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan Kuninori Matsuda held at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, President Alvi said that Pakistan attached great importance to its bilateral ties with Japan and wanted to further expand cooperation as there existed great prospects of furthering relations in various fields. He highlighted that Pakistan offered tremendous business opportunities and Japanese companies could benefit from the business-friendly environment in various sectors of the economy, especially in agriculture, automobile, Information Technology, textile, SMEs and energy sectors.
Talking to the envoy, the president said that Pakistan and Japan enjoyed excellent relations and both countries needed to further improve their ties in areas of mutual interest. He underscored the need for increasing cooperation in the fields of skills and human resource development. He welcomed the decision of the Government of Japan to include Pakistan in the JDS Scholarship Program under which 20 students from Pakistan would be provided the opportunity to take part in graduate courses in Japanese universities.
The president also recalled his visit to Japan in October 2019, saying that he held fruitful discussions with the leadership of Japan. He also appreciated the role of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Japanese companies that contributed to the development of Pakistan.
The ambassador apprised the president that Pakistan was one of the major exporters of fisheries and agricultural products, including rice, dates, sesame, mango, Guar Gum, shrimp and salt to Japan. He informed that the Toyota automobiles company would invest $100 million to produce the most-advanced hybrid cars in Pakistan, besides supporting companies to manufacture auto parts.
He further stated that Japan would hold Osaka 2025 Expo and requested Pakistan’s participation in the Expo. The ambassador remarked that 2022 would mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Japan, and expressed the hope that both the countries would commemorate the anniversary in a befitting manner. The president congratulated the ambassador on the successful completion of his tenure in Pakistan and appreciated his efforts in further solidifying Pakistan-Japan relations.