Kenya Appreciates Cordial Relations with Japan – Amb Amina Mohamed

SPEECH FOR USE BY AMB. (DR.) AMINA C. MOHAMED, EGH, CAV, CABINET SECRETARY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS DURING THE RECEPTION TO CELEBRATE THE BIRTHDAY OF HIS MAJESTY THE EMPEROR OF JAPAN

DECEMBER 7, 2017

Your Excellency Ambassador Toshitsugu Uesawa,

Excellencies,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. I am delighted to join you all here today to celebrate His Majesty the Emperor’s birthday and the National day of Japan. I take this opportunity to convey on behalf of the Government and people of Kenya warm birthday wishes to His Majesty Emperor Akihito, and gracious congratulations to the Imperial Household, the Government and the people of Japan. We share in your joy on this auspicious occasion. His Majesty the Emperor is not only a symbol of the state but a symbol of unity of the people of Japan who have lived in peace and prosperity in the 29 years of the ‘Heisei’. (**Heisei is the period in which the Emperor has reigned**)
  1. I also wish to congratulate His Excellency Shinzo Abe on his victory in the recent Diet elections and successful re-election to the high office of the Prime Minister of Japan. His Excellency’s triumph portrays the confidence the people of Japan have in him.

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. I note with deep appreciation the longstanding partnership and collaboration between our two nations that spans over five decades. Our relations are strong and steadfast. We anticipate progress into new areas of bilateral cooperation as Japan remains a reliable development partner and a trusted friend to Kenya.
  1. We are cognizant that Kenya occupies a special position in Japan’s diplomatic and economic engagement within the region and appreciate that Japan has chosen Kenya as the regional headquarters for its major agencies; the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). This confidence is a true reflection of the trust and devotion Japan places in the relations between our two countries. Our investment journey is encouraging but needs continuous nurturing and enhancement. We will continue to urge Japanese companies to increase their presence or start relations with us.

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. In particular, I convey my sincere gratitude to the government of Japan for their support in Kenya’s successful hosting of the Sixth TICAD Summit held in Nairobi last year. TICAD VI, the first one held in Africa, was a tremendous success and remains a unique process that has contributed immensely to Africa’s development and regional integration agenda.
  1. The TICAD Summit was a confirmation that it is a robust engine of African development built on the twin principles of African ownership and international partnership. We remain seized on implementing to the fullest, the set targets in the Nairobi Declaration. Since TICAD’s inception, major projects have been implemented and I want to highlight a few: The construction of Ngong and Ring roads; the opportunities to study through the ABE initiative; Universal Health Coverage (UHC); and clean energy through the Olkaria geothermal power Sondu Miriu Hydropower projects.
  1. I acknowledge and appreciate the effective role of the follow-up mechanisms that are in place such as the recent Ministerial Meeting held in Maputo this August which plays a significant role in ensuring efficiency and quality results. I also welcome new initiatives to boost efficient implementation and enhance public awareness of Japan – African Cooperation. These initiatives should strengthen (1) liaison, coordination and linkages with stakeholders and (2) provide visibility and strategic communication with the public. TICAD is indeed a beacon of excellence to many other partnerships and conferences in development.
  1. I also appreciate the State visit to Kenya by H. E. Premier Shinzo Abe where bilateral discussions with H. E. the President yielded results including the modernization of the Port of Mombasa and development of the Dongo Kundu Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. Kenya and Japan continue to work together at the multilateral fora and especially in the United Nations and its agencies in order to achieve the much-desired Reforms and to push to action emerging issues of global significance. 

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Government of Kenya notes with concern the prevailing situation in the Korean Peninsula. We wish to reiterate that the Government of Kenya stands together with nations in condemning acts that threaten security, peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula and calls for the peaceful resolution of disputes.

I specifically want to assure Japan of Kenya’s supports on the draft resolution of a “united action with renewed determination towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons” and our backing during the UN plenary meeting later this month.

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. Finally, I am greatly honoured to have received the award of “Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun” conferred to me by His Majesty the Emperor of Japan in May this year. I recognize and accept this award as an indication of the confidence the Government and people of Japan have in our relations. I assure you that the Government of Kenya, will continue working closely with Japan to strengthen our relations and further advance our friendship and partnership for the mutual benefit of our great nations. I take this opportunity to convey my deepest gratitude for this honour to His Majesty, the Government and people of Japan. I also appreciate the tremendous support accorded to me by Your Excellency Ambassador Uesawa and your Mission’s staff.

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. I would like to join you in celebration on this day and now request that we rise and offer a toast:

“To the good health and long life of the Emperor, His Majesty Akihito, and to a future of prosperity and friendship between the people of our two great countries!”    

Dōmo arigatōgozaimasu.