●Liaison Office of the Embassy of Japan in Basra
In Basra, Liaison Office of the Embassy of Japan in Basra was established in June 1st, 2012, and Mr. Murtadha Salman Al-Khafaji, Liaison Staff in Basra, is conducting its mission.
The contact information about the Liaison Office in Basra is as follows;
Japan’s National Day reception to celebrate His Majesty the Emperor’s birthday
Ambassador Masato Takaoka hosted the National Day reception to celebrate the birthday of H.M. the Emperor on November 26, 2013.
The reception was commenced with the National Anthems of Japan and Iraq. This was followed by the welcome remarks by Ambassador Takaoka expressing his appreciation for the participation of a large number of prominent figures for the celebration of H.M. the Emperor’s birthday. Ambassador Takaoka reviewed the developments of the bilateral relationship between Japan and Iraq over the year, touching upon the increase in presence of Japanese companies in Iraq, Japan’s significant contributions to the reconstruction in Iraq through its official development assistance, and Japan’s assistance to Iraq faced with the influx of Syrian refugees. Noting that it is ten years after the war, Ambassador Takaoka wished Iraq for further development.
From the Iraqi side, H.E. Dr. Rowsch Shaways, Deputy Prime Minister, and H.E. Mr. Nasir Al-Ani, the Chief of Secretariat of the Diwan of the Presidency Council, delivered their remarks. They commended the importance of friendship and cooperation between the two countries
The reception was highly successful with the attendance of a large number of Iraqi prominent guests as well as representatives from diplomatic corps and international organizations in Baghdad.
Remarks by Ambassador Masato Takaoka (English/Arabic)
The “Post-war Japan” Photo Exhibition at the Council of Representatives
The Photo Exhibition entitled “Metamorphosis of Japan after the War” was held at the main entrance hall of the Council of Representatives from October 28 through 31, 2013. The Exhibition displayed 34 monochrome photographs provided by the Japan Foundation, which portrayed the changes of the Japanese society from the severity after the end of the war to various developments that took place through the process of post-war reconstruction in Japan. As Iraq the path of the post-war Japan is a subject of interest to Iraq, who is itself currently in the course of reconstruction ten years after war in 2003
The opening ceremony on October 28th started with a tape-cutting by H.E. Mr. Osama Al Nujaifi, Speaker of the Council of Representatives. H.E. Mr. Nujaifi then delivered an opening speech, expressing his appreciation for the opportunity of learning from the Japanese post-war history through this exhibition. This was followed by remarks of Ambassador Masato Takaoka and H.E. Mr. Fawzi Atroshi, Deputy Minister of Culture of Iraq. The text of Ambassador Takaoka’s remarks at the ceremony can be found here. Ambassador Takaoka’s speech (English and Arabic ver.)
Following the opening ceremony, Ambassador Takaoka delivered a lecture presentation on “Japan’s Postwar History”, where he discussed the course of developments that Japan took since the end of the World War II, noting some similarities and contrasts between post-war histories of Japan and Iraq. The lecture invited lively discussion with Iraqi members of the Parliament, reflecting the magnitude of interest on this theme.
Another session of the Exhibition is scheduled for public viewing at Al-Hiwar Gallery in Baghdad from 19th through 23rd November, 2013.
The 40th Baghdad International Fair
The 40th Baghdad International Fair took place from October 10th till October 20th, 2013. The Japan Pavilion was set up under the sponsorship of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) with participation of close to 30 companies and government entities. The exhibiton of Japan Pavilion stood out in scale and content at the Fair and was given the prize for best performance.
After the opening ceremony for the Fair on the 10th, H.E. Dr. Hussain Shahristani, Deputy Prime Minister, who hosted the ceremony on behalf of the Iraqi Government visited the Japan Pavilion as their first viewing of the exhibitons along with H.E. Dr. Khairallah Babiker, Minister of Trade.
On the 11th, the first day of the Fair’s public opening, the opening ceremony of the Japan Pavilion was launched. The Japanese and Iraqi national flags were raised with their national anthems being played by Iraqi infantry band. Following the opening address by Mr. Hiroyuki Ishige, Chairman of JETRO, H.E. Mr. Hoshyar Zebari, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and H.E. Dr. Babiker expressed Iraq’s warm welcome of the Japan’s participation in the Fair and voiced expectation for more Japanese companies entering into the Iraqi market. In response, Ambassador Masato Takaoka delivered a speech whose text is attached below.
The Japan Pavillion was enormously popular with Iraqi visitors through the session of the Fair. The Embassy undertook cultural events including dressing Japanese traditional costume “kimono” and writing Iraqi people’s names in Japanese calligraphy. Thousands of Iraqi visitors attended such activities.