Japan expresses resolve to increase ties with Pakistan
On the 70th anniversary of Japan-Pakistan diplomatic relations, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has expressed the resolve to further increase bilateral relations in the days ahead.
In a message, he congratulated his Pakistani counterpart, Shehbaz Sharif, for assuming the PM's office, and wished him success. He also greeted both Japanese and Pakistani people over the successful completion of seventy years of bilateral relations.
"Japan established diplomatic relations with Pakistan on 28th April 1952, the very day when the San Francisco Peace Treaty went into effect and Japan regained its independence. Today marks exactly 70 years since then, and I am very pleased to celebrate this milestone with all of you. Japan and Pakistan have nurtured friendly relations over the years, extending support to each other when in need," he said.
PM Kishida said in the post-war period, cotton exported from Pakistan to Japan backed its textile industry and greatly encouraged Japan's post-war reconstruction. In turn, Japan has continuously provided Pakistan with assistance mainly in its areas of expertise, such as water, healthcare, education, and disaster management. "Both Japan and Pakistan are disaster-prone countries, and we have supported each other through the years. When Pakistan was struck by a massive earthquake in 2005 and by severe floods in 2010, Japan dispatched its disaster relief team and provided yen loans and grant aid. When the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred in 2011, Pakistan not only delivered relief goods, such as milk and biscuits, but Pakistani people residing in Japan travelled to the affected areas to serve hot meals to disaster victims" he added.
He also mentioned that recently, when the situation in Afghanistan deteriorated last August, Pakistan extended generous support to Japan to facilitate the safe departure from Afghanistan of Japanese nationals and Afghan staff working in the Japanese Embassy and the JICA office. He said Pakistan was one of the most important countries not only for the stability of the region but also for international counter-terrorism efforts and his country would like to cooperate with it to realise a "Free and Open Indo-Pacific.
PM Kishida said that he wished to elevate bilateral relations to new heights and was determined to work with PM Shehbaz Sharif and the people of Pakistan even more closely for it.