KIGALI - The Japanese Ambassador to Rwanda, Kunio Hatanaka, has said that Japan remains committed to honouring her pledges to support the country’s development, despite the natural disaster it suffered recently.
An earthquake and tsunami that hit the Asian country, early this month, has, so far, claimed over 10,000 people.
Hatanaka made the remarks shortly after meeting with President Paul Kagame at Village Urugwiro, yesterday.
“Japan respects her commitment although we are in a very difficult situation,” he said.
“We would like to continue our support. Since our embassy is here, it is certain that we can intensify the content of our conversations on economic cooperation”.
The Ambassador added that he briefed the President on activities carried out by Japan, through its embassy, over the last one year.
Early this week, Japan signed three grants worth $32million to support developmental projects in the Eastern province, including a feasibility study of the Rusumo Bridge, One Stop Border Post facilities and a power substation and distribution network.
The envoy pointed out that members of Official Development Assistance (ODA) of the Japan House of Councilors, who visited the country in December last year, submitted a positive report on the projects supported by Japan.
“They went back satisfied after seeing how the government implemented the projects Japan supports,” Hatanaka said.
Japan's interventions are mainly in the areas of education, agriculture, water and sanitation.
Rwanda and Japan established an Annual Policy Dialogue, a bilateral framework in which the two countries meet annually to discuss their bilateral cooperation programmes.
A review meeting is being planned in the next few months.
The Japanese Embassy in Rwanda became fully operational in January last year and Hatanaka is the first envoy.
He acknowledged the good relationship between the two countries and thanked the government of Rwanda for its encouragement to the people of Japan in the aftermath of the tsunami and earthquake.