Rawalpindi, 22 October 2021 (TDI): Japanese ambassador to Pakistan, Kuninori Matsuda, met Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Qamar Javed Bajwa, in a farewell call. The meeting took place at General Headquarters, Rawalpindi.
During the meeting, both officials discussed matters of mutual interest. They also reflected on regional security dynamics and exchanged views on emerging developments in Afghanistan.
The Chief of Army Staff lauded Mr. Kuninori Matsuda’s services for enhancing bilateral relations between Japan and Pakistan. He also thanked him for fostering defense ties between the two countries and support on Afghanistan’s issues.
The visiting dignitary appreciated Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan; particularly the successful evacuation operations from Kabul. He pledged to keep working for strengthening relations between Pakistan and Japan.
Improvement in Pakistan-Japan Relations
Pakistan and Japan share cordial diplomatic relations based on mutual trust and respect. The two countries established official diplomatic relations in 1952. Ambassador Kuninori Matsuda was appointed, to Japan’s embassy in Pakistan, in 2019. During his two years and 10 months of service in Pakistan, ambassador Matsuda played a crucial role in augmenting relations between the two countries. In economic cooperation, Japan engaged in improving Pakistan’s socioeconomic infrastructure in five key sectors including water and sanitation, health, education, disaster prevention, and infrastructure development for export industries.
During his tenure, Pakistan-Japan defense cooperation has been significantly enhanced. In February 2021, Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force’s destroyer participated in a multilateral maritime military exercise, AMAN 2021, organized in Pakistan. The assistance provided by Pakistan Armed Force in evacuating Japanese nationals and embassy staff from Kabul, post-US withdrawal, also improved defense ties between the countries.
Farewell message of Ambassador Matsuda
In his farewell message, ambassador Kuninori Matsuda stated “I strongly believe that the seeds sown through the cooperation between the Embassy and the Government of Pakistan during my tenure will blossom in the near future.” He said he particularly looks forward to next year which marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Pakistan. He hopes that this will lead to further improvement of relations between the two countries at all levels.
He also thanked the people of Pakistan for their welcoming and friendly attitude.