20-21/08/2012 Ambassador Fatimie visits Hokkaido, meets Hon. Gov. Takahashi, Hon. Mayor Ueda of Sapporo

August 20-21, 2012: 
Ambassador Dr. Sayed M. Amin Fatimie paid a two-day visit to Hokkaido as part of his initiative to facilitate strong relations with both the central and local governments of Japan. His first trip to the northern-most prefecture, he was impressed greatly.

On his second day, the Ambassador called upon Hon. Mayor Fumio Ueda of Sapporo, who extended a very warm welcome. Ambassador Fatimie firstly expressed his gratitude, on behalf of the people and Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, for the selfless multi-dimensional support extended by the citizens of Japan, and key within that the people of Sapporo. Describing the impact that this has had upon all people, the Ambassador shared that even Afghan children have great respect and kinship for Japanese, citing this as evidence that these future leaders will ensure that relations between the two nations would flourish even more in the years ahead. Of the many topics discussed, Hon. Mayor Ueda showed great interest in the wealth of natural resources in Afghanistan, which Ambassador Fatimie had stated were open to Japanese investment.

The Hon. Mayor kindly in turn expressed His gratitude for the visit, saying that Sapporo, and moreover all of Japan, would continue to place high importance on cooperation with Afghanistan.

Ambassador Fatimie expressed his praise for the kind ladies and gentlemen of the Hon. Mayor’s office, including Hon. Vice Mayor Katsuhio Akimoto, Director Hidehiro Wakabayashi, Director Keiji Imai, and Ms. Hiroko Yonemori.

That same afternoon, Ambassador Fatimie also had the honor of being very cordially welcomed by Hon. Governor Harumi Takahashi at Her office.

Ambassador Fatimie also took the opportunity to express to the Hon. Governor the deepest appreciation of the people and Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, along with his own, for the generous support of the Japanese people, calling attention to the efforts of the people of Hokkaido. Again mentioning the closeness of the peoples of the two nations, Ambassador Fatimie illustrated this through stories of Afghan children who, following Japan’s disasters in March 2011, collected money to send to the victims and gathered in Bamiyan in prayer. Moved by these stories, Her Hon. the Governor expressed that Japan and Hokkaido must and will continue to work with Afghanistan for further peace and development, stating that she was already impressed with what had been accomplished thus far. Ambassador Fatimie thanked Hon. Governor Takahashi for the sentiment, adding that this progress was only possible due to Japan and the rest of the International Community’s efforts.

Ambassador Fatimie further mentioned the excellent hospitality of the Hon. Governor’s staff, including Director Masayuki Shinohara and Deputy Director Kabutoya.

(Hon. Governor Takahashi holds a piece of Afghan Lapis Lazuli. Like Hon. Mayor Ueda, the Hon. Governor was impressed by the information of Afghanistan’s natural resources)

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