ISLAMABAD: Japanese Ambassador to Pakistan His Excellency Kuninori Matsuda paid a farewell call to Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa at General Headquarters (GHQ).
During the meeting, matters of mutual interest, bilateral cooperation in various fields, overall regional situation and peace and stability in Afghanistan were discussed.
According to Inter-Service Public Relations, COAS Bajwa thanked the ambassador for his services and appreciated his contributions for fostering strong ties between the two countries and support towards defence/security cooperation and stance on the Afghan situation.
The visiting dignitary appreciated Pakistan’s role in the Afghan situation including successful evacuation operations and pledged to keep working for better relations between the two countries.
Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan, Mastuda Kuninori, is about to be transferred to the Japanese Embassy in Ukraine after nearly three years of his tenure in Pakistan. In his farwell. note, the ambassador expressed his heartfelt gratitude for the support and kindness received during this period.
“Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the movement of people and economic activities have been substantially restricted. Through this pandemic, however, the world, including Japan, has seen a dramatic shift of working styles, and more Japanese companies have come to utilize excellent human resources in Pakistan through the Internet”
“Pakistan, with a population of over 220 million, has great potential as a consumer market and a wealth of human resources, with over 60% of the population under the age of 30. If these are utilised efficiently, it will no doubt have a positive impact on the economies of both Japan and Pakistan,” he added.
On economic cooperation, the outgoing ambassador said they have engaged in improving Pakistan’s economic and social infrastructure, especially in the five pillars in which Japan has strengths – water and sanitation, health, education, disaster prevention, and infrastructure development for export industries.
“We hope that such cooperation with Pakistan will contribute to the expansion of bilateral economic relations, including the promotion of trade and investment in both directions,” he added.
He said over the past two years and ten months, bilateral defence cooperation have been steadily enhanced with the aim of stabilising not only Pakistan but the entire region. This includes the participation of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s destroyer in multilateral maritime military exercise, AMAN-21, organised by the Pakistan Navy for the first time in February this year.
“The ties between the Japan Self-Defense Forces and the Pakistan Armed Forces have also been further strengthened through the cooperation in evacuating Japanese and Afghan nationals working in the Embassy and JICA from Afghanistan to Japan,” he added.
He said that next year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Pakistan. “I am sure that this wonderful opportunity will lead to progress in cooperation between Japan and Pakistan in various fields such as politics, economy, culture, and national security.”
Ambassador Matsuda said the “people of Pakistan have always welcomed me and treated me with great friendliness.” He wished for the further development of Japan-Pakistan relations.