The diplomatic ties between Japan and Pakistan established in 1952. The economic relations between both started soon after the independence of Pakistan. Karachi being the first capital of Pakistan was the trade hub for trade relating activities between Pakistan and Japan. Japan’s economic cooperation with Pakistan covers loans, grants and technical cooperation, and both countries have signed several treaties in different areas. Embassies of both countries are playing a pivotal role in enhancing the relations between Pakistan and Japan.
H.E. Mr Kuninori Matsuda, being the Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan is playing an extraordinary role to further strengthen relations between both countries. Born in 1959 in the city of Fukui, Japan Kuninori Matsuda graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences, the University of Tokyo in 1982. In 1984 he graduated from Defense Language Institute, USA. He joined the foreign service of Japan in 1982. In 1996, he was appointed as the first secretary at the Embassy of Japan in the United States. Two years later Mr Kuninori Matsuda was appointed as Counselor at the Embassy of Japan in Russia. He worked on several positions worldwide being representative of his country. Being a career diplomat, he served in different capacities in different parts of the world. For instance, he served as director Overseas Public Relations Division, worked as Senior Fellow/Director of Research Coordination at Japan Institute of International Affair. He also served as Director Russian Division and worked in the position of Minister, Embassy of Japan in Israel. He remained part of Consulate-General of Japan in Detroit as Consul General, National Institute of Public Administration as Deputy Director-General and Consulate-General of Japan in Hong-Kong as counsel General before assuming his charge as Japanese Ambassador in Pakistan.
He was designated as Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan in December 2018 and took charge in the early months of 2019. Since then he is engaged in developing more diversified ties with Pakistan. When it comes to bilateral ties in the field of education and technical training, Kuninori Matsuda always commends the extremely skilled workers and technical interns of Pakistan in terms of their expertise, hard work, and obligation. He is in talks with the Education Ministry of Pakistan to further extend ties and fortify relations in the areas of skill development and education. He also applause Pakistan’s role for peace and stability in the region. He is also engaged to work in the development sector of Pakistan. Japan is also interested to develop relations in the fishery sector.
Recently, due to his efforts, Japan has approved to encompass a grant of six billion rupees to Pakistan for the development of water treatment and distribution system in Faisalabad.
Recently, some discussions are in progress on the Rs1.1 billion grant given by the Japanese government to the Korangi Fish Harbour Authority for the Formation of Business Parks, Alteration of Auction Hall and the Establishment of Cold Storage and financial inclusion of the marginalized community in Pakistan.
Kuninori Matsuda being the representative of Japan in Pakistan remained committed to working together to lessen poverty in Pakistan. Japanese ambassador also seems to be very active to enhance cooperation in this particular area. The Embassy of Japan donated 20 jasmine trees to Japanese Park last year in line with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ‘Clean-Green Pakistan’ initiative.
The Ambassador of Japan witnessed the tree plantation initiative and showed great interest. Mr Matsuda said is of the view that many residents adore visiting this park. It became a symbol of friendship between Japan and Pakistan. This park was opened in 1985 after the then Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone visited Pakistan and donated playground equipment for children of Pakistan. He is also keen to establish a long-term partnership with Pakistan in several fields and areas.
The Japanese willingness to provide pesticides and related products to Pakistan to cope up with the crop locust attacks in the country is commendable. During the crisis, Japanese Ambassador Kuninori had a meeting with Federal Minister for National Food Security and offered assistance against the locust onslaught. We have seen different discussion session of ambassador Kuninori with all chief Ministers in Pakistan and these discussions mostly revolved around building partnerships to open up new doors of cooperation and mutual benefits.
The world is facing financial impending amid coronavirus and it is high time for the countries to enhance financial cooperation and collaboration. Last year, Japan has extended grant assistance of JPY 1 billion (approx. USD 9.5 million) to Pakistan for enhancing its ability to combat COVID-19. In this regard, MATSUDA Kuninori remained very vigilant.
Pakistan and the people of Pakistan pay huge regards to the efforts and affection of Mr Mastuda Kuninori.