Visit to ECFA by the Ambassador of Japan to Cairo Oka Hiroshi
On May 29, 2023, at the invitation of ECFA, Mr. Oka Hiroshi, the Ambassador of Japan to Cairo, visited ECFA, where he was welcomed by Ambassador Mohamed El-Oraby, ECFA Chairman, who hailed the existing cooperation between Japan and Egypt in various fields, while a number of ECFA members and researchers concerned with Asian affairs participated in the meeting. The Japanese Ambassador indicated that his country’s relations with Egypt are based on peace, mutual trust, and friendship, and that their interest in relations with Egypt is primarily focused on human development, economic development, and the development process in a comprehensive sense, while commending the existing Egypt-Japan relations, and the existing cooperation between the two countries in many fields. He also appreciated the assistance provided by Egypt to evacuate Japanese nationals from Sudan.
The Ambassador reviewed the visit held by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to Egypt in early May 2023, noting that it came at the beginning of his first tour in Africa since he assumed his post as Prime Minister, given Egypt’s regional weight and being a meeting point binding Asia, Africa and Europe, adding that it resulted in important outcomes towards enhancing aspects of distinguished and deep-rooted bilateral relations in various fields, the most prominent of which was the announcement by the two countries’ leaders the upgrade of bilateral relations between Cairo and Tokyo to the level of a “strategic partnership”, in addition to the signing of a number of memorandums of understanding between the two sides in several fields, including transportation, judicial cooperation, communications and information technology, as well as financing development projects.
The Ambassador reviewed the support that Japan provides to some projects in Egypt through soft loans and bonds purchase, such as health insurance, agriculture, water, and fish farming policies. He indicated in this context the financing of the first phase project of the fourth line of the Greater Cairo Metro, in line with the government’s plan to reduce emissions and provide environmentally friendly transportation, and financing the Borg El Arab International Airport development project, through the construction of a new passenger terminal at the airport with an annual capacity of up to 4 million passengers, as well as the construction project of the Grand Egyptian Museum, which Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly was keen to inform his Japanese counterpart of the completion rates related to its construction, and its inspection during Kishida’s visit to Egypt.
The Ambassador also presented some aspects of cooperation between his country and a number of countries of the region, referring to the tripartite Japan-Jordan-Israel cooperation for the benefit of the Palestinian people (the Agro-Industrial Park project near Jericho), and the Japan-Jordan-Iraq cooperation in the fields of electricity and energy, in addition to the “Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology” project in Borg El Arab, which is a successful model of tripartite cooperation between Egypt and Japan with African countries.