Japanese Emperor’s birthday celebrated at Japanese Embassy
08 December 2016 – The birthday of the Japanese Emperor was celebrated on Wednesday in Windhoek at a lavish function hosted by the Japanese Embassy. The Emperor’s birthday is on 23 December which is also Japan’s National Day.
The Japanese Embassy in Namibia was only opened last year. Up to that time, all diplomatic functions were conducted by the Japanese Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa. This week’s celebration is only the second time the Emperor’s birthday was celebrated in Namibia.
At the reception, the Japanese Ambassador, H.E. Hideyuki Sakamoto told the distinguished guests the Emperor of Japan has no political role but is a symbol of national unity under the democratic constitution.
Reviewing the diplomatic relations between Japan and Namibia, H.E. Sakamoto said the Minister of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, Hon Immanuel Ngatjizeko and the Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, Hon Dr. Itah Kandjii-Murangi visited Japan and had fruitful dialogues for the future cooperation in the fields of trade, science and technology with their Japanese counterparts.
At parliamentary level, the Ambassador said Hon. Mensah-Williams, Chairperson of the National Council, also visited Tokyo to forge ties with parliamentarians.
On Japan’s involvement on the continent, the Ambassador said TICAD 6 was held in Nairobi in August 2016 as a development between Japan and African countries. From Namibia, the Right Hon. Prime Minister, Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, the Minister of Economic Planning, Hon Tom Alweendo, and Dr. Mushelenga, joined leaders of other African countries and Japanese Prime Minister Abe to discuss such important fields as development of the private sector and capacity building, both at national and continental level.
“The Japanese Development Agency, JICA, started dispatching young volunteers to Namibia in 2006 and this year marks its 10th anniversary. Since its inception, more than 100 young Japanese volunteers have been closely working with local communities in various fields such as rural development, civil engineering, IT and education” said the Ambassador.
Another example of cooperation through JICA is scientific research collaboration between the University of Namibia and Japanese universities to investigate a new method of mixed planting drought resilient mahangu and the flood resilient rice in the same plots. “This research project will come to an end soon with a very successful result” he said while showing the guests a sample of meal produced from mahangu and rice.
In conclusion, the Japanese Ambassador proposed a toast to President Dr Hage Geingob.