Lilongwe, December 2: The newly appointed Japanese Ambassador, Shuichiro Nishioka, who presented his Letters of Credence to President Dr. Joyce Banda at Kamuzu Palace, Lilongwe, on Monday, pledged his government’s continued support to Malawi.
Nishioka told journalists after meeting President Dr. Banda that he was proud to have finally presented his Letters of Credence to the Malawi leader and that he would see to it that Malawi continued to receive grant aids from Japan.
“Japan is willing to continue supporting the country with grant aids and technical expertise in various interventions such as irrigation, and agriculture in general, among other areas,” explained Nishioka, who has replaced Fujio Samukawa whose term ended recently.
He added: “For the past 40 years Japan has supported Malawi with over 1, 600 grant aids and currently, there are about 70 grant aids that are operational and we intend to continue with this support.”
He said he had also conveyed to President Dr. Banda and people of Malawi message of goodwill from the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, and that the latter looked forward to seeing diplomatic ties between the two countries getting stronger by the day.
Receiving the new Japanese envoy, President Dr. Joyce Banda, expressed gratitude over the Japanese Government’s support in areas such as agriculture and rural development, basic education, water development, maternal and child health and transport infrastructure development.
The Malawi leader said she looked forward to increased cooperation with Japan on natural resources, industrial development and education as per her meeting with Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe in June 2013.
Dr. Banda also noted Prime Minister Abe’s pledge to support SADC and Africa’s regional development and agro-industries through the Japan-African Regional Economic Communities Summit.
Malawi-Japan relations date back to Malawi’s independence in 1964 when the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) opened offices in Malawi in 1964.
Japan established a Residential Embassy in Lilongwe in 2008, while Malawi’s Embassy in Japan was opened in 1992.
Main areas of cooperation between Malawi and Japan include: agriculture and rural development, basic education, water development, maternal and child health, medical services, transport infrastructure development, rural electrification and the One Village One Product (OVOP).
Japan hosts the Tokyo International Conference on African Development every five years, with the objective of ‘promoting high-level policy dialogue between African leaders and development partners.
TICAD is an evolving element in Japan’s long-term commitment to fostering peace and stability in Africa through collaborative partnerships.