Source: ‘Japan ready to help Zim’ | The Herald November 17, 2018
Japan is ready to assist Zimbabwe in its efforts to turnaround the economy and tackle corruption, Japanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Toshiyuki Iwado has said.
He told guests who gathered at his residence yesterday to celebrate the 85th birthday of Imperial Majesty of Japan Emperor Akihito that his country followed developments in Zimbabwe, which has seen the coming in of a new administration led by President Mnangagwa and the holding of harmonised elections, with keen interest.
“His Excellency President Mnangagwa has emphasised reforms on both the political and economic fronts, as well as economic development and the tackling of corruption,” he said.
“Now we are waiting for the 2019 Budget, the conclusion of the Commission of Inquiry and other measures with the hope to see serious and concrete reforms.
“At the same time, we are ready to cooperate with Zimbabwe in her efforts in this endeavour.”
Ambassador Iwado said Japan had over the last year made efforts to promote bilateral ties with Zimbabwe, which have seen it extending grant assistance for the reconstruction of the most dangerous part of the North-South corridor.
“Japan also supported, along with other development partners, the electoral process through United Nations Development Programme,” he said.
“Japan has also agreed to provide cyber security equipment, among other projects.
“What is more, we are most grateful that the Japan-Zimbabwe Friendship Association has been established by Zimbabweans.
“We look forward to working together with the association to further promote our relations in a variety of fields including business, culture and academia.”
Turning to the Emperor’s birthday, which is actually on December 23, Ambassador Iwado said this was his last as emperor since he was going to abdicate on April 30 next year, almost 30 years since his enthronement on January 7, 1989.
“His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince will ascend the throne on the next day, the 1st of May, while his enthronement ceremony will be held on the 22nd of October,” he said.
“This will be followed on the same day by banquets, to which a number of heads of state and other dignitaries from both Japan and overseas will be invited.
“To show our deepest gratitude to the visiting heads of state and dignitaries, as well as to deepen their understanding of traditional Japanese culture, a Prime Minister’s Banquet will be organised on 23rd of October.”
Ambassador Iwado said Japan was also set to host a number of international events next year, starting with the G20 Summit in Osaka in June, then the Tokyo International Conference on African Development 7th Summit in Yokohama in August and the Rugby World Cup from September to November.
In a speech read on her behalf, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Director of the Africa, Asia and the Pacific Department Ambassador Alice Mageza expressed gratitude to Japan for the support that it has extended to Zimbabwe.
She cited projects such as the Nyakomba Irrigation Scheme in Nyanga.
She said that they expected Zimbabwe and Japan to continue deepening their levels of cooperation going forward.