ISLAMABAD: Japan will provide additional 50 million dollars to Pakistan for the polio eradication program. This was stated by Japanese ambassador Hiroshi Oe in his meeting with Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani at PM House here.
Prime Minister Gilani thanked the Japanese government’s consistent support in the polio eradication. He recalled that Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto’s daughter Asifa was the first child to receive Polio drops from her mother when Pakistan launched the Polio Eradication Program.
He said that Japan has remained engaged in support of Pakistan’s Polio Eradication Program which was a commendable act. Gilani said Pakistan and Japan will celebrate the 60th anniversary of their diplomatic relations next year with exchange of high level delegations and cultural activities.
He said the two countries enjoy multi-faceted relations and have always come forward to assist each other in times of stress. The Prime Minister appreciated Japan’s support to Pakistan at international fora, timely assistance in the aftermath of 2005 earthquake, the floods last year and assistance for the dislocated people.
He also acknowledged Japan’s positive support in organizing Friends of Democratic Pakistan and Donors Conference in Tokyo in 2009 noting that Japan had released almost half the amount from US $ one billion pledged by their government.
Ambassador Hiroshi was also very appreciative of Pakistan’s assistance in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. He said the Pakistani community in Japan had also been very active in raising funds for the affected people. Their activities were largely reported by the Japanese media, he added.
The Prime Minister stressed the need for exchange of Parliamentary delegations and enhanced people to people contact. The Prime Minister invited Japan to expand its cooperation in manufacturing small affordable cars like Suzuki for Pakistan’s middle income people. Among other things, Japan’s continued engagement in development projects, infrastructure and water management projects were discussed. The importance of combination of trade and investment was emphasized.
The Ambassador informed the Prime Minister that Japan has launched a Pilot Project this year to import mangoes from Pakistan. The regular import would start form the next season, he added. The Prime Minister said that directions have been given to send mangoes samples across the world to explore and cultivate markets for this important agricultural commodity. He said that Pakistan is producing one of the finest breed of mangoes in the world.