Seychelles joins Japan in honouring Emperor Naruhito

Seychelles joins Japan in honouring Emperor Naruhito
Seychelles joins Japan in honouring Emperor Naruhito

Africa-Press – Seychelles. On the occasion of the 64th birthday of the Emperor Naruhito of Japan, the Japanese embassy held a reception at the Savoy Seychelles Resort & Spa on Saturday afternoon.

Emperor Naruhito, who is symbolic of Japan and the unity, traditions and values of the Japanese people, celebrates his birthday on February 23.

Ambassador of Japan to Seychelles, Ken Okaniwa during his address noted that 2024 will be a milestone year for relations between the two countries, as the Japanese government will appoint the first Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary in Seychelles this year.

Ambassador Okaniwa noted that the excellent bilateral relations between the two countries date back to 48 years ago, and are based on mutual respect and shared values, such as rule of law and democracy.

Seychelles is an important partner in the promotion of the Free and Open Indo Pacific (FOIP) which aims to promote rule of law in the seas, maritime security, and connectivity of the Indo-Pacific.

Through cooperation, Japan has provided the Seychelles Coast Guard with patrol vessels and training. Ambassador Okaniwa noted that the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) training squadron has planned a second port of call to Victoria, highlighting the importance of Seychelles for regional maritime security.

In addition Ambassador Okaniwa said he is looking forward to the high level participation of the Seychelles government in the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (Ticad) ministerial meeting in August this year. During the Ticad 8 last year, Prime Minister Kishida announced US $30 billion of funding, both public and private, to Africa in the next three years.

On behalf of the government and people of Seychelles, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Sylvestre Radegonde congratulated Japan for its technological prowess, and its ongoing contributions towards Seychelles.

Minister Radegonde conveyed gratitude for Japan’s support through the JICA Development cooperation programme, through which government officials have benefited from training programmes and study opportunities.

“Maritime security remains a priority, and Seychelles acknowledges Japan’s support in this regard, aiming to strengthen our collaboration for regional stability. With the reemergence of piracy off the coast of Somalia, building partnerships that contribute to the greater security framework of the Indian Ocean is vital,” Minister Radegonde stated.

He went on to commend Japan’s readiness to contribute towards the development of Seychelles’ healthcare system, with the donation of medical equipment to the Seychelles Health Care Agency in March 2023, via a grant aid of 100 million Japanese yen.

With regard to Seychelles’ blue economy vision, Minister Radegonde noted that Japan’s contributions exemplifies its commitment to mutual prosperity. The REEFISH project which was to improve livelihoods, food security and build resilience of African coastal countries is an important component of the collaboration. The Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) in April 2023 received a patrol boat to step up surveillance, under the programme.

In addition, Minister Radegonde expressed appreciation for the support provided by Japan to small islands developing states (Sids) across the world. In this context, he urged Japan to support Seychelles’ advocacy for the Multidimensional Vulnerability Index, to advance international cooperation in addressing complex challenges such as climate change and socio-economic disparities.

The reception was attended by President Wavel Ramkalawan, First Lady Linda Ramkalawan, Vice President Ahmed Afif, among other dignitaries.

Japan and Seychelles established diplomatic relations in June 1976. The first Japanese embassy in Seychelles opened in November 2019.

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