Message from Ambassador

宮下大使

Dear visitors, welcome to our website,

I hope that all of us had a good start into the New Year 2018.

On January 28, at the AU General Assembly in Addis Ababa Rwanda officially assumed the position to lead the Union in 2018. President Kagame is chairing the AU this year. Although Rwanda is a small country in Africa, its government is making all efforts to live up to the expectations for this chairmanship, as the newly established special statutes governing employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and East African Community demonstrates.

In assuming the chairmanship, the Government of Rwanda announced three priorities:1.AU reforms, 2.peace and security of Africa, and 3.an independent AU. The Government of Japan will also work hand in hand with the Government of Rwanda so that the latter can fully carry out its duties.

After my arrival in Rwanda, I also set the following three priority areas to be accomplished:1.to strengthen our bilateral ties in each area including the dialogue at the political level, 2.to support more Japanese companies in Rwanda and empower them for business and investment, and 3.to promote Japanese culture in Rwanda.

As for the dialogue at the political level, we had a bilateral Foreign Ministers’ meeting in August last year, but this year we will aim to realize a meeting at an even higher level.

Regarding the business promotion, 15 Japanese companies are doing business in Rwanda today, which means that the number has doubled since my arrival one and half years ago, and this number is still increasing. Last year was especially marked by the large-scale investigation by Japanese ICT companies, which further enhanced the presence of Japanese companies in this country.

As for the promotion of Japanese culture, last year we decided to hold the “Karate Ambassador’s Cup” annually and this year, it will take place at the Amahoro Stadium on February 10. Furthermore, the Government of Japan decided to provide the Rwanda Karate Federation with karate equipment such as 400 tatami mats with a view to further promote this martial art, and the signing ceremony was held a few days ago. The equipment is expected to arrive in Kigali early this year. We are also holding “Japan Film Festival” at the Goethe-Institute Kigali from February 7 to 9. This time we focus on Japanese animated films and show the “Spirited Away” by Hayao Miyazaki as well as “Children Who Chase Lost Voices” by Makoto Shinkai.

We will also continue our contribution to development cooperation in collaboration with JICA. This year has a wide range of Japan-related events, from the launching ceremony of the “Rusumo-Kayonza Road Improvement Project,” the signing ceremonies of the new “Ngoma-Ramiro Road Upgrading Project” and of the new “Project for the Improvement of Substations and Distribution Network,” to several assistance projects for local NGOs in Rwanda. We keep updating detailed information on Japan’s current development cooperation projects as well as the Embassy’s activities on our website. I hope that you will visit us time and again on our website this year as well.

January 2018

Takayuki MIYASHITA
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Embassy of Japan in the Republic of Rwanda