Liberia-Japan Bilateral Relations Moving From Strength To Strength


ON TUESDAY, MARCH 2, 2021, the visiting Japanese Ambassador accredited to Liberia, His Excellency HIMENO Tsutomu, disclosed that work on the Somalia Drive, soon to be renamed the Japan Freeway, is expected to be completed in May 2021. The completion of the Somalia Drive project marks the fruition of the infrastructure agenda of the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf administration and the George Weah administration to provide traffic relief for motorists and commuters from the outskirts of Monrovia into the city.

ACCORDING TO A Foreign Ministry release, Japanese Ambassador, HIMENO Tsutomu, now at the conclusion of his five-day working visit to Liberia, made these remarks when he paid a courtesy call on Foreign Minister, Ambassador Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. Ambassador Tsutomu observed that the bilateral relations between Japan and Liberia is moving from strength to strength, stating that in the near future Japan will be hosting the Eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD8), and that through this meeting Liberia and Japan will be further engaged, which will strengthen the relationship between the two peoples.

THE SOMALIA DRIVE project, the Ambassador indicated, is only one of other initiatives to be undertaken by the Japanese government for the Liberian people. Ambassador Tsutomu spoke of further economic and social development cooperation, stating that Japan planned to commit grant assistance in the area of power generation, which will focus on the transmission and distribution of electricity to many homes in the country. He said Japan will transfer maintenance technologies for the maintenance of diesel generators used in the distribution of electricity.

THE JAPANESE ENVOY commended the support expressed by Liberia through the Note Verbale for the up-coming election for the United Postal Union (UPU) Director General post in August 2021, of the International Law Commission, member of the commission, Prof. ASADA Masahiko, Autumn 2021, Committee Against Torture, member of the committee, Dr. MAEDA Naoko, October 2021 and United Nations Security Council, non-Permanent member for 2023—2024, September 2022. He said Japan will continue its food assistance program to Liberia, improved safety and livelihood for fishermen in Montserrado County and build the capacity of Liberians against illegal fishing through FAO, and livelihood of empowerment of women in small-scale fisheries during and after the COVID-19 through FAO.

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