June 18, 2010
His Excellency President Hamid Karzai (left) greets guests on a visit to Japan at the Embassy of Afghanistan in Tokyo. The visit (July 16 - 20) coincided with the 80th year of formal diplomatic relations between Afghanistan and Japan. During the visit, H.E. President Karzai also met with H.M. Emperor Akihito, H.E. Foreign Affairs Minister Katsuya Okada, and became the first foreign head of state to meet with H.E. Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who kindly stated that he hoped that the already historic relations between the two countries would extend for 1000 to 2000 years more. In addition to these key figures, H.E. met with Madame Sadako Ogata of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Japanese business leaders, who H.E. invited to take advantage of Afghanistan's vast natural resources.
During his visit, H.E. spoke at an International Forum organized by the Japan Institute for International Affairs (JIIA). H.E. President Karzai focused on the long legacy of connections between the nations, Japan's role in Afghanistan's development, and the positive progress being achieved in Afghanistan.Leaving Tokyo on the 19th, H.E. President Karzai visited Hiroshima, where he paid his respects at the Peace Memorial; Kyoto, where he spoke with assembled students; and Nara, where he was able to view the first piece of Afghan lapis lazuli to come to Japan, dating back to the Silk Road era. In each of these cities, H.E. the president met with local leaders.
full text of H.E. the President's JIIA speech , click here(photos by Antony Tran)