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Kuwait and Japan enjoy strong friendship: Envoy

By Faten Omar

KUWAIT: The Embassy of Japan held a press meeting on Monday at the residence of the Japanese ambassador on the occasion of the birthday of the Emperor of Japan on February 23. During his meeting with the Kuwaiti press, Ambassador Morino Yasunari expressed his deepest condolences for the tragic loss of lives in the earthquake in Turkey and Syria, hoping people stand up firmly to this unanticipated historic challenge.

In his remarks, he said Japan and Kuwait both support international peace and prosperity and firmly uphold the rule of law among nations. “The rule of law enables countries to overcome their divisions by talks, not force. As a UN Security Council member, Japan will promote the rule of law and would like to cooperate with Kuwait,” he said.

Morino revealed Japan and Kuwait enjoy strong friendship, including a very cordial relationship between the Japanese imperial family and the Kuwaiti ruling family, affirming Japan’s appreciation for the enormous support extended to Japan when a major earthquake struck Japan in 2011. “Kuwait is an important supplier of oil for Japan, and we appreciate the role played by Kuwait for a stable international oil market. Still, I would like to develop bilateral cooperation beyond oil trading in the most practical way,” he pointed out.

“Earlier this year, Takagi Kei, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, visited Kuwait and discussed the potential for bilateral cooperation, especially in the area of infrastructure development. Japan has technologies that can be applied to developing infrastructure in Kuwait, in areas like electricity, energy, water, waste management, environment, etc, but they have to be modified to be more appropriate to Kuwaiti environment and conditions,” Morino said.

He commented that such adaptation of Japanese technologies to Kuwaiti conditions could be developed through cooperation between Japanese and Kuwaiti experts. “I would like to help to create a kind of expert-level, shoulder-to-shoulder collaboration,” he added.

The Japanese ambassador said that the embassy will exert efforts to increase people-to-people exchanges between the two countries. “I would like to see more Kuwaitis visiting Japan for tourism. Japan is proud of its abundance of natural beauty, unique culture and tradition,” he said. He revealed that the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) visits Kuwait from time to time to facilitate collaboration with Kuwaiti travel companies.

On education, Morino said Many Japanese universities have recently become more eager to admit students from Middle Eastern countries. “A project called J-MENA, which is a platform linking universities in Japan with those in the MENA region, aims to double the number of students from regional countries in five years,” he said.

“I would also like to see more Kuwaiti people learn Japanese. The embassy held its annual Japanese speech contest in December. I would like to encourage more people to participate in the Japanese language course at the Continuing Education Center of Kuwait University. I am keen to foster this kind of momentum to further develop people-to-people exchanges between the two countries,” Morino added.

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