Liberia’s Foreign Minister Amb. Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., and his Japanese counterpart Mr. Hayashi Yoshimasa held bilateral talks in Tunis, Tunisia on the margins of the Japan-Africa Summit of Heads of State and Government.
The summit was held at the Eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD – 8) in Tunis.
Liberia’s Foreign Ministry release said Amb. Kemayah, on behalf of President George Manneh Weah and the country, extended greetings, best wishes and appreciation to the Government and People of Japan for TICAD-8.
Kemayah also extended appreciation for the USD30 billion investment package announced for Africa at the TICAD-8.
Minister Kemayah further thanked Japan for the many development assistance to Liberia, including the Japan Freeway.
He also thanked Japan for the commitment to rehabilitate and expand the Gabriel Tucker Bridge to Freeport Road corridor; the construction of market buildings, including the Duala Market and the Liberian Japanese Friendship Maternity Hospital at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center.
He further applauded Japan for the ongoing Japan Rice Monetization Program, the human capacity development initiatives and other critical bilateral aid programs facilitated through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Foreign Minister Kemayah mentioned that President Weah had planned to personally attend the TICAD-8 but could not be present due to unavoidable national engagement.
He highlighted and presented a Bilateral Note from the Government of Liberia to the Government of Japan, which was received by Foreign Minister Yoshimasa of Japan for the Japanese Government’s consideration.
The Bilateral Note contains areas for consideration by the Government of Japan in its Development Assistance to the Government and People of Liberia for the period 2022-2025.
That includes the rehabilitation and expansion of the Gabriel Tucker Bridge to Freeport Road corridor; complete renovation, equipping and furnishing of the John F. Kennedy Medical Center; and construction of market buildings.
It also includes the construction, equipping and furnishing of a new modern Ministry of Foreign Affairs Building; the construction of 15 mega conducive and enabling high school campuses across the fifteen counties of Liberia; and budget support for the conduct of the 2023 elections.
Additionally, the Note includes areas such as solar energy for critical public institutions; safe drinking water; infrastructure development and vital human-capacity building opportunities for sustainable productive engagement of the women and youth of Liberia.
Foreign Minister Kemayah called for the reopening of the Embassy of Japan in Monrovia; the granting of visa waivers for citizens and officials of both countries; and the establishment of a Japan-Liberia Joint Commission.
He called for the holding of a Technical Roundtable Meeting of high-level public and private sector officials from both Liberia and Japan to consider further cooperation in the areas of trade and investment, agriculture and food security, health and education, road development/transportation infrastructure, youth and women empowerment, energy and information communication technology (ICT).
Foreign Minister Kemayah assured that Liberia will continue to coordinate and cooperate with the Government of Japan on global, multilateral and bilateral issues of shared values and principles.
The Dean of the Cabinet then proposed a special commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the Liberia-Japan Diplomatic and Bilateral Relations.
Earlier Japanese Foreign Minister Mr. Hayashi Yoshimasa expressed gratitude to Foreign Minister Kemayah for his participation in TICAD-8 in Tunis.
Foreign Minister Yoshimasa stated that the Japan Freeway, which was completed last year, is a symbol of the friendly relationship between Japan and Liberia and assured Foreign Minister Kemayah that Japan will continue to consider cooperation in the field of transportation infrastructure that aims to drive Liberia’s development. –Press release