Ambassador TAKEUCHI’s Message on Zambia-Japan Friendship on the Occasion of the 63rd Birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan (Published on Zambian Newspapers)

 On 23rd February 2023, on the occasion of the 63rd Birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, H.E. Mr. TAKEUCHI Kazuyuki, Ambassador of Japan to Zambia, published a message wishing to further strengthen Zambia-Japan friendship on The Times of Zambia, Daily Mail and Daily Nation. The full text of his message is as follows:

  Japanese Ambassador Wishes to Further Strengthen Zambia-Japan Friendship on the Occasion of the 63rd Birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan
Today, as newly accredited Ambassador of Japan to this great country, Zambia, I have the great pleasure and honour to invite Zambian people to join in our celebration of the 63rd birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan.
Zambia and Japan have forged a firm friendship since as early as the independence of Zambia in 1964. In 1983, Their Majesties the Emperor Emeritus and Empress Emerita, then Their Imperial Highnesses the Crown Prince and Princess, were welcomed in Zambia as State Guests. The late First Republican President, H.E. Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, warmly hosted them at the State House and personally guided them to the Victoria Falls. During this Imperial visit, President Kaunda expressed his wish for an academic institution to train veterinarians in the country. This wish was later embodied in the form of the Veterinary School at UNZA, through cooperation between the two Governments and various stakeholders on both sides. The establishment and development of this institute since then has been a symbolic flagship project of Japan-Zambia cooperation.
To praise such bilateral relations, President Kaunda described Japan as “all weather friend of Zambia” during another Imperial visit to Zambia in 2014, when T.I.H. Prince Akishino (the younger brother of the present Emperor) and Princess attended the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Zambia.
I thus believe that today, His Majesty the Emperor’s birthday, is a good occasion for Japan and Zambia to renew our friendship and willingness to cooperate for peace, development and prosperity, not only of our two countries, but also of the African continent and the world.
Our cooperation paved new steps in 2022. On 27th-28th August 2022, the Eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 8) was held in Tunisia. The Government of Japan has been leading this conference since 1993, with UN, UNDP, World Bank and AUC as co-hosts. Representatives of Japan and 48 African countries, including 20 heads of state and government, participated in TICAD 8. Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. KISHIDA Fumio, stated that Japan, as a "partner in growing together" with Africa, will vigorously promote initiatives with an approach that focuses on "people." The participating African countries expressed their appreciation for Japan's continued commitment to African development and confirmed to work together for the sustainable development of Africa and the world.
During TICAD 8, on 28th August in Tunis, Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, held a meeting with Hon. Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane, Minister of Finance and National Planning. The Ministers confirmed to work for further development of bilateral relations based on the outcome of TICAD 8.
Following this, on 8th November, the Finance Minister and the then Ambassador of Japan signed and exchanged notes for the Grant Aid amounting to approx. 11 million USD for “The Project for Development of Rice Seed Production Field and Training Facilities” in Lusaka. This three-year project will be implemented at the Mount Makulu Research Station in Chilanga District, Lusaka Province and the Mansa Research Station in Luapula Province under the Zambia Agriculture Research Institute, to improve rice seed, enhance productivity and increase rice production in Zambia.
Our cooperation is not limited to economic cooperation. Japan and Zambia share fundamental values. We commend the firm commitment of the New Dawn Government led by President Hakainde Hichilema to democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and above all, for the world’s peace. We are working together against attempts to change the status quo by force. Prime Minister Kishida announced that Japan supports the joining of the African Union to G20. We believe that it is important for Africa to expand its presence in the G20, in light of the increasing role of African countries in the international community in recent years.
Next year, 2024, will mark the 60th anniversary of the independence of Zambia, and the 6oth anniversary of Japan-Zambia diplomatic relations. Towards this commemorative year, let us restart today to work together to further advance our bilateral relations in various fields, and to contribute to the international community.
Ambassador TAKEUCHI Kazuyuki