H.E. Ambassador Dr. Fatimie Hosts the Reception in Honor of the Opening of the Hidden Treasures Exhibition in Tokyo in the Presence of H.E. Deputy Minister Shams and the Respected Delegation

April 13, 2016: His Excellency Ambassador Dr. Sayed Mohammad Amin Fatimie had the great pleasure and honor to host a reception at the Embassy of Afghanistan in Japan in honor of the opening of the “Hidden Treasures Exhibition from the National Museum, Kabul” this week, in the presence of the respected delegation from Kabul, H.E. Mr. Zardasht Shams, Deputy Minister of Information and Culture; Honorable Mr. Touryalay Ghiyasi, Head of Cultural Relations and Public Diplomacy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and Mr. Mohammad Fahim Rahimi, Acting Director of the National Museum.

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H.E. Ambassador Dr. Fatimie gave an opening remark, stating how wonderful it was to finally witness the opening of the Exhibition in Japan, which had begun in Kyushu National Museum on Jan. 1st through Feb. 14th, before coming to now to Tokyo. H.E. Dr. Fatimie expressed his wishes that this great occasion will further strengthen the friendly relations between Afghanistan and Japan. H.E. Ambassador further expressed his deepest gratitude, on behalf of the people and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, to the Government of Japan for providing generous support, as well as to the international community, the organizers, and those who have devoted their effort in protecting and repairing the lost Afghan artifacts, in addition to enabling the Exhibition to be held here in Japan. Despite the challenges Afghanistan still faces today, matters like maintaining achievements such as this to propel further, the upcoming international conferences on Afghanistan in Warsaw in July & in Brussels in October, as well as the support of the international community is crucial, H.E. Dr. Fatimie added.

H.E. Deputy Minister Mr. Shams also gave his remarks, saying he was pleased to have witnessed two especially good events during his visit to Tokyo this time. First, the opening of the Exhibition. H.E. Mr. Shams explained how important it is for the two friendly nations, Afghanistan and Japan, to have this kind of cultural exchange through which real evidence of the ancient civilization that flourished in the land of Afghanistan is displayed, proving the existence of relation between these nations through dealings on the Silk Road since then. Some of the artifacts once stolen or looted from Afghanistan have been kept and repaired in Japan -which leads to the second good news. The repatriation agreement regarding such artifacts was signed between H.E. Mr. Shams and the Japan Committee for the Protection of Displaced Cultural Properties two days prior. H.E. Deputy Minister expressed that Afghanistan is grateful to have a generous and kind friend like Japan, which provides assistance to Afghanistan in many areas, including cultural realm such as with the protection of ancient Afghan artifacts. He also shared a story of Japanese reconstruction cooperation in his hometown in Afghanistan as an example, and told how much Japan is appreciated in Afghanistan.

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Representing the Exhibition organizers, the Honorable Mr. Masami Zeniya, Executive Director of Tokyo National Museum, gave his speech. Mr. Zeniya expressed his great pleasure at having such an historic event, and his sincere appreciation to the organizers, sponsors, H.E. Ambassador Dr. Fatimie and his staff at the Embassy, and all the individuals helped protect the precious Afghan treasures.

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The reception was held very successfully with the attendance of nearly 100 distinguished guests. H.E. Ambassador had the honor and pleasure of warmly welcoming all the guests, and conversing with the Honorable Madam Sadako Ogata, Advisor to Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and Japan International Cooperation Agency; the Honorable Natsuo Yamaguchi, Chief Representative of Komeito Party; Their Excellencies Ambassadors; the Honorable Mr. Masaaki Takei, Mayor of Minato City; Mr. Katsuhiko Takahashi, Deputy Director-General of Middle Eastern and African Affairs Bureau, MOFA Japan; Mr. Shigeki Furuta, Deputy Director-General, JICA; Ms. Mihoko Kumamoto, Head of UNITAR; Mrs. Kuniko Matsunami, Executive, Japan-Afghanistan Association; and many others.

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