Greetings from Ambassador
In Lebanon, therefore, the very unique society has been developed and formed with 18 officially recognized ethnic and religious groups and communities, which are up to now coexisting. Under such historical backgrounds, the democratic system based upon the multi-ethnic and religious communities was introduced to Lebanon when it became independent, and since then Lebanon has enjoyed the robust economic growth thrust by the vigorous market economy. Lebanon has led all countries of the Middle East in each field of commerce, foreign trade, information, culture, and tourism.
As for the Japan-Lebanon bilateral relationship, we established the legation in Beirut in 1954 immediately after Japan restored its position of the international community in post-war era, and placed Lebanon as the strategic country for the Japanese foreign trade and commercial activities in the Middle East. More than 1,500 Japanese residents in Lebanon were counted in 1970`s. Beirut began to function as centre of the Japanese economic activities in the region.
While Civil War
began in 1975 and ended in 1990, and then the military clashes sporadically
happened, Japanese companies have gradually evacuated from Lebanon which was
diminishing the role it used to play. Even now we cannot see the bilateral
economic relations fully restored.
However, I believe that there are huge potentials for expanding the relations between Japan and Lebanon toward the future. Fundamentally Japan has the strategic importance to Lebanon.
First, we consider it of vital importance that the international community would keep supporting political stability of Lebanon because we have observed that the past unstable conditions of Lebanon had posed a shadow to the stability of the whole Middle East region.
Secondly, it is said that there are more than ten million Lebanese migrants overseas, and they form their communities in Latin America, Africa, Europe, and North America which have much influential over their countries. Japanese, firms or individuals, have a lot of contacts with Lebanese people over different parts of the world. This must be sustained by the bilateral friendly relations.
Thirdly, I believe it beneficial for Japan that Japanese businesses could be more engaged in socio-economic activities in affiliation with Lebanese firms with professional expertise especially in the Gulf and the Middle East.
The fourth I want to emphasize is that I wish more Japanese could know about Lebanon, the country with abundant history and culture on a hand, and more Lebanese could get acquainted with the Japanese ideology and history and culture beyond subculture, such as animation, manga, Japanese foods on the other hand. I am confident that both people who can accept different culture based on plural value system can become spiritually richer through active exchange of people and culture
There is no doubt
that such development assistance gives benefit to the strengthening of the
bilateral cooperative relations and mutual understanding between Japan and
Lebanon. On the other hand, Japanese appreciate deeply condolences and donations
expressed by the Government of Lebanon and the various civic organizations and
groups. These facts make
Japanese renew our
determination toward further strengthening the existing friendly
Finally allow me to refer to my past personal contact to Lebanon. I was living as a student in Lebanon for one year and a few months from the year of 1977, and therefore Lebanon is a place where my memory about my young age is preserved. It is in Faraiya that I challenged skiing for the first time. I have never experienced in driving my own car until I came to Lebanon. It means that Lebanon is, so to speak, my second homeland and therefore I feel extremely delightful if I will dedicate to strengthening the existing friendly relations between the two countries.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Lebanon