Monrovia, Sunday, September 6, 2015: The first Liberia-Japan Political Dialogue is set to get underway Monday, September 7, 2015, when H.E. Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Liberia, hosts H. E. Norio Maruyama, Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Director General of the African Affairs Department.
H.E. Maruyama and delegation, including their Ambassador to Liberia, the First Secretary and Assistant for African Affairs, will hold discussions with senior officials of Government and follow-up on issues agreed on in the Joint Statement published in Tokyo by H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on August 27, 2015, on the sideline of the Second World Assembly for Women (WAW).
According to a Foreign Ministry release, during Director-General Maruyama’s visit, the First Liberia-Japan Political Dialogue will convene between senior Ministers of the Liberian Government, which will be led by Foreign Min. Ngafuan and the Japanese Government’s delegation headed by Amb. Maruyama, on the 7th of September in Monrovia.
The coming of Mr. Maruyama to Liberia is in fulfillment of the solemn pledge made by both Prime Minister Abe and the Liberian President during her recent visit to Japan to attend the WAW! 2015, to hold a political dialogue to further strengthen the bilateral ties and economic cooperation between Liberia and Japan, and to follow-up on tangible issues laid down in the Japan-Liberia Joint Statement.
Among cardinal issues that would be discussed during the Dialogue are political and security situation in Liberia: post-UNMIL draw-down; post-Ebola stabilization & economic recovery plan, including health, infrastructure, agriculture and education; and cooperation on international affairs.
The Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Agriculture, Commerce & Industry, Education, Finance & Development Planning, Ministry of Health & Social Welfare, Internal Affairs, Justice, Lands, Mines & Energy, National Defense, Public Works, State and Transport will form a part of the discussions. Other agencies of Government, which are expected to take part in the one-day meeting are National Investment Commission and Environmental Protection Agency.
Ambassador Maruyama is expected to pay a courtesy call on President Sirleaf. During discussions with him, the President will emphasize that Japan’s continuous assistance to Liberia, especially during this period when Liberians emerges from months of scourging health crisis, is indeed vital to the strengthening and consolidation of relations between both nations.
Japan’s recent aid to Liberia and other Ebola-affected nations, including Guinea, Sierra Leone and Mali was on November 28, 2014, when it provided approximately 700,000 sets of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) upon request from the four nations above.
On November 7, 2014, the Government of Japan provided medical and epidemic prevention equipment to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone valued at US$12.06 million, and a financial contribution of US$5.94 million to the UN Ebola Response Multi-Partner Trust Fund as a means of supporting the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER).
An additional US$100 million pledge was made by Japan as assistance in rebuilding the health systems of the three most affected countries — Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.