Japanese Ambassador to Liberia Mr. Tsutomu Himeno has paid a courtesy call on Liberian Foreign Minister Gbehzohngar Milton Findley, telling Minister Findley that his Government is committed to working with the Liberia.
A Ministry of Foreign Affairs release issued Monday, 26 February says the Japanese Ambassador made the disclosure on Monday when he paid a courtesy visit on Mr. Findley in Monrovia.
Mr. Himeno informed Foreign Minister Findley that he and the special delegation sent by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had attended the inaugural ceremony of President George Manneh Weah on January 22, adding that his Prime Minister had sent a congratulatory message to Mr. Weah.
Ambassador Himeno informed Minister Findley that his government is pleased to share the same fundamental values of democracy that Liberia embodies toward world peace.
On aid to Liberia from his country, he stated that Japan can’t do all, but what it can do is based on Liberia’s priorities which it would like to build on and strengthen the existing relationship between the two nations.
Further in his discussion, he acquainted Mr. Findley with what his government has been doing in Liberia since 2008 beginning with a 364 million Japanese Yen grant for the rehabilitation of Liberia-Japanese Friendship Maternity Hospital at the JFK Medical Center in Sinkor.
From 2008 to 2017, the Japanese Embassy has implemented several projects in the tune of millions of United States dollars. One of such projects is the reconstruction of the Somalia Drive Road, to which phase two will begin shortly.
“We are going to review our strategies based on your priorities, Mr. Minister. We are here to work and cooperate with your government,” Ambassador Himeno further stated.
He informed the Foreign Minister that the Japanese construction company reconstructing the Somalia Drive is pleased with the handiworks of their Liberian counterparts helping with the construction works.
As such, he says during the second phase, they (Liberian contractors) will take the lead while their Japanese colleagues will just play a supervisory role.
Responding, Foreign Minister thanked the people and government of Japan for the assistance they are giving to Liberia.
He told Mr. Himeno that President Weah’s government is focused on reducing poverty, Liberians taking ownership of those foreign projects and the connection and construction of roads throughout the entire nation.
“We want to open up the country and put industries all over the country where our young people can be trained to meet the future,” he says.
“We also need investments, including factories that will employ these trained young Liberians,” he says, adding that there would [be] no need of training them when “we can’t” find jobs for them.
Foreign Minister Findley also told Mr. Himeno that as the relationship between Liberia and Japan gets strengthened and more Japanese nationals come to Liberia, it would be good for the Japanese to open their embassy near Monrovia.
He says his government looks forward to more investors coming from Japan to invest in Liberia especially in the fishery sector, which is now being regulated by the Bureau of Fishery.
Minister Findley also informed Mr. Himeno that government is now in dire need of short-term aid while Liberia looks forward to more cooperation.–Press release