A Good Friend: Japan still on Malawi’s side


Japan has been described as a country that remains a key strategic development partner for Malawi since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the country and Japan in 1964.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ephraim Chiume said Japan continues to assist Malawi in its developmental endeavors in a wide range of sectors including health, energy, education and sanitation.
Chiume made the remarks when he represented President Dr. Joyce Banda in celebrating the 80th birthday of His Majesty the Emperor Akihito of Japan who has been described as a symbol of Japanese state and national unity
The minister said government of Malawi appreciates the beneficial and continued relations between the two countries.
He said “Japan recently donated ten dialysis machines to Kamuzu Central Hospital through the Tokushukai Company which are benefiting the central and northern regions. Japan also sent doctors and nurses to train our medical personnel on how to use the machines.
It also donated an 830kw solar power plant which was installed at Kamuzu International Airport under the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) grant aid programme,” said Chiume
The minister also highlighted the handover of school blocks for Mpondasi Community in Mangochi under the Grant Assistance of Grassroots Human Security projects as one of the projects Malawi benefited from Japan.
According to him, Japan has also contributed a lot in the areas of capacity building through its Volunteer Overseas Cooperation Volunteers.
“Malawi remains the largest recipient of Japanese volunteers in the world and these volunteers have made a lasting impact on the lives of people in Malawi,” said Chiume.
He further said Japan’s spirit of hard work continues to inspire the people of Malawi as they endeavor to achieve sustainable socio-economic development.
Let me reaffirm Malawi Government’s commitment to deepen its cooperation with the Government of Japan in all spheres of development for the mutual benefit of our people,” said Chiume.
In his remarks, Ambassador Nishioka said the relationship between the two countries has this year marked a milestone.
“Our strong ties were certainly strengthened with the high level-talks between Her Excellency President Joyce Banda and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on two different occasions this year, during the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) and the Japan-African Regional Economic Communities Summit Roundtable on the side-lines of the UN General Assembly.
“Such high-level talks should indeed be encouraged because they enhance cooperation and mutual understanding between our countries,” said Nishioka.
The ceremony which took place in Lilongwe was graced by Japanese ambassador to Malawi Shuichiro Nishioka, members of the Japanese community in Malawi, cabinet ministers, various political party leaders, members of parliament, heads of diplomatic missions and international organizations among others.

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