Designated Minister Jean-Francois Ferrari and Ken Okaniwa, the Ambassador of Japan to Seychelles. (Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) – Seychelles and Japan will continue to work together in varying areas over the coming years, with relations between the two nations commemorated during a reception to honour Japanese Emperor Naruhito on Friday.
Emperor Naruhito, who turned 63 on February 23, acceded to the Chrysanthemum Throne on May 1, 2019, beginning the Reiwa era, following the abdication of his father, Akihito. He is the 126th monarch according to Japan‘s traditional order of succession.
Held at Eden Bleu Hotel, the event was a celebration of Emperor Naruhito’s birthday and saw the presence of the government ministers, government officials, diplomats and representatives of the private sector.
“I am grateful that so many of you have joined us today, to celebrate this occasion with us. It is a true reflection of the goodwill and friendship that exists between our two countries,” said Ken Okaniwa, the Japanese Ambassador to Seychelles, during his address.
The ambassador spoke of the relationship that exists between Seychelles and Japan, where he shared that Japan has maintained excellent relations with Seychelles since 1976, with both nations sharing common values such as the rule of law, human rights and democracy.
“Our cooperation is not limited to the government level. A Japanese trading firm, Itochu, has begun shipping discarded fishnets from the Seychelles to be exported and recycled,” added Ambassador Okaniwa, saying that the project will contribute towards environmental protection.
Furthermore, on Thursday, Japan donated medical equipment amounting to $769,789 (SCR10 million) to the Ministry of Health in Seychelles.
Meanwhile, in the absence of Seychelles’ President Wavel Ramkalawan, the Designated Minister, Jean-Francois Ferrari, sent his birthday wishes to the Emperor on behalf of the President and expressed his thanks for the year of support Japan has given to Seychelles.
“We are grateful to Japan for its past and continuing support in such vital sectors as capacity building and training, health, maritime security, fisheries, disaster risk management, Blue Economy and others,” said Ferrari.
He also expressed his thanks to Japan for approving a grant of $7.6 million (SCR100 million) for financing the construction of a new Marine Police and Anti Narcotic Centre in Seychelles.