New Year message from the Japanese Ambassador Mr. MATSUNAGA Kazuyoshi


    Happy New Year, everyone! I am MATSUNAGA Kazuyoshi, the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria.

【Presentation of credentials】
  In October last year, I presented my credentials to H.E. President Muhammadu Buhari and officially started my activities as the Ambassador of Japan in order to build bridges between Japan and Nigeria.

【Japan’s support for Nigeria in 2021 (COVID-19, Reconstruction, Environment, and National Security)】
    Last year, 2021, was the 61st year of diplomatic relations between Japan and Nigeria. We saw the two countries deepen their bilateral relationship to a new stage. In particular, Japan has supported Nigeria's development in new areas. In the fight against COVID-19, Japan provided three ambulances to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
    With regard to the reconstruction of the Northeast and Middle-Belt regions, Japan held a workshop for local government officials from these regions in cooperation with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and contributed to building their capacity and stimulating mutual exchange.
    In the area of environmental protection, we supported United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in conducting research on alternative plastic materials and recycling technologies to reduce waste plastic in Nigeria. In the area of security, Japan, together with UNDP, assisted the Nigerian Army Peacekeeping Center investigate the root causes of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. The scope of bilateral cooperation between Japan and Nigeria has been expanding to various fields.

【The importance of creating new value through creativity and enthusiasm in difficult times.】
    As in the past year, COVID-19 is still raging around the world. Japan and Nigeria, however, have shown the importance of creating new value through creativity and enthusiasm when the going gets tough. Last summer, despite the pandemic, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games were successfully held in Japan. The success of the Japanese team and Team Nigeria has encouraged the people of Japan and Nigeria, and strengthened the bond between the two countries in spite of their physical distance.
  In the area of business promotion, Japan has started to invest in and support Nigerian entrepreneurs and startups through online competitions. With exchange visits restricted by the COVID-19, Japan and Nigeria have been interacting with each other through digital tools in areas of politics, business, culture and sports. In order to promote mutual exchange between Japan and Nigeria and spread the beauty of the two countries through digital tools the Embassy of Japan has, in addition to Facebook, launched its Instagram page.

【Towards a new era between the two countries】
    This year, the Eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD8) is scheduled to be held and is expected to further expand and deepen the relationship between Japan and Nigeria. As the Ambassador of Japan, I will continue to do my best to further strengthen bilateral relations in a wide range of areas, including economy, climate change, and digital technology, and to make the new era between both countries brighter.

   Last but not least, I sincerely wish all of you a peaceful and healthy new year.

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan
to the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Ambassador's message (May 05, 2021)