Visit to ECFA by the new Ambassador of Japan Oka Hiroshi
At the invitation of ECFA, Mr. Oka Hiroshi, the new Ambassador of Japan in Cairo, visited the Council, where he was welcomed by the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Ambassador Dr. Mounir Zahran, who praised the existing cooperation between Japan and Egypt in various fields, including cultural cooperation, which is embodied in the Cairo Opera House, the Grand Egyptian Museum, and the Japanese University in Egypt. On his part, the ambassador commended Egypt’s achievements in the fields of infrastructure and public services provided by the state, including electricity, noting the state of stability and security that Egypt currently enjoys, compared to other countries in the region. He also pointed out that the Japanese Foreign Minister, who recently visited Egypt, is very enthusiastic about expanding relations of cooperation between the two countries. He added that this interest on the part of Japan is matched by a clear interest from the Egyptian side, as President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi visited Japan three times; the first in 2016 and two visits in 2019 during his chairmanship of the African Union. In this context, the ambassador indicated that their relations with Egypt are based on peace, mutual trust and friendship, and that their interest in relations with Egypt is mainly focused on human development, economic development and the development process in its comprehensive sense.
The guest also expressed his country’s appreciation for naming one of Cairo’s traffic axes after former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in a unique step in Egypt. He also reviewed the support provided by Japan to some projects in Egypt through soft loans and the purchase of bonds, such as health insurance policies, agriculture, water and fish farming, in addition to the increase in Japanese investments during recent years by 60% (2021) compared to previous years.
On the other hand, the ambassador discussed some aspects of cooperation between his country and some countries in the region, referring to the tripartite Japanese-Jordanian-Israeli cooperation in favor of the Palestinian people (the Agro-Industrial Park project near Jericho), and the Japanese-Jordanian-Iraqi cooperation in the fields of electricity and energy, noting that their goal of supporting Iraq is to frustrate the attempts of Iran and reduce its influence in Iraq. In addition, he presented his country’s well-known foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific region, its stance on the Russian-Ukrainian war, and their relationship with China, alluding to what he called the Chinese dangers and threats to neighboring countries.