*The Embassy of Japan Celebrates the 61st Birthday Anniversary of His Majesty the Emperor Naruhito*

Islamabad: On the auspicious occasion of February 23rd, which marks the 61st Birthday of His Majesty the Emperor Naruhito, H.E. Mr. MATSUDA Kuninori, the Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan, has expressed his sincere gratitude and appreciation to the Government and the people of Pakistan for extending their messages of felicitation and good wishes for His Majesty the Emperor and his family.

In the midst of COVID-19 pandemic, the Embassy this year does not host a grand reception in Islamabad which is usually an annual feature to celebrate the birthday of His Majesty the Emperor.

Since his accession to the throne on 1st May 2019 as the 126th Emperor of Japan, His Majesty the Emperor Naruhito stands as the symbol of Japan and of the unity of the people. His Majesty and the Imperial Family facilitate the fostering of good relations with foreign countries including Pakistan.

Ambassador MATSUDA, while recalling the cherished memories of Pakistan’s relationship with the Japanese Imperial House, said that His Majesty the Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Her Majesty the Empress Emerita Michiko, who are the parents of His Majesty the Emperor Naruhito, visited Pakistan as the then-Crown Prince and Princess in 1962, on the 10th anniversary of our diplomatic relations which became the first visit by the members of the Imperial House to Pakistan. Also, President Dr. Arif Alvi and the First Lady Mrs. Samina Alvi on the invitation of the Government of Japan, paid an official visit to Japan to attend the enthronement ceremony of His Majesty the Emperor Naruhito in October 2019.

Highlighting the decade’s old historical and amicable relations between Japan and Pakistan, the Ambassador said that Japan has remained one of the major bilateral development partners of Pakistan since 1954, extending assistance in multi-faceted sectors. The total amount of Japan’s economic assistance to Pakistan by March 2020 amounts to USD 13 billion and this makes Japan the second largest economic partner of Pakistan, said the Ambassador.

As the year 2022 will mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Pakistan, the Ambassador has invited all Pakistani people to come forward and join hands with the Embassy to celebrate this historic relationship in a splendid way. Cultural and people-to-people exchanges, the Ambassador said, are the foundation of our friendship from a long-term perspective.

The Ambassador, on this occasion of the birthday celebrations of His Majesty the Emperor, stressed that we must renew ourselves to further develop our close relations and make a firm resolve to deepen our cherished ties, which will amplify the welfare of people of both the countries.