April 17, 2012: Ambassador Dr. Sayed M. Amin Fatimie attended a reception organized by H.E. Minister of Foreign Affairs Koichiro Gemba to “express respect to Mrs. Sadako Ogata for her contributions to Japan and the International Community on her retirement as the President of JICA” at the Iikura House.
The reception, which served well to show the high regard that Japan and the world hold Madame Ogata in, brought together friends, supporters, and well wishers from a number of different organizations and sectors, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japanese parliamentarians, international dignitaries, and a number of other outstanding figures. Taking their respective opportunities to pay respects to this remarkable woman, speeches were given by H.E. Minister Gemba, H.E. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda (pictured above), Hon. former Prime Minister Yoshihiro Mori, and Madame Ogata. As Afghanistan was one of the key areas of cooperation for Madame Ogata and JICA, activities in Afghanistan were discussed in H.E. Prime Minister Noda’s speech, and a message from H.E. President Hamid Karzai, expressing the great respect and gratitude of the people and Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, was one of three messages read. The other two messages were from H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations; and H.E. Mr. Antonio Guterres, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Ambassador Fatimie had occasion to offer personally to Madame Ogata renewed expressions of sincerest appreciation for her impact-generating efforts in the areas of peace and development in Afghanistan, and moreover throughout the world. Other key figures that the Ambassador was fortunate enough to talk to include, among others, Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr. Kazuyuki Hamada, H.E. Senior Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Ryuji Yamane, H.E. Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Kenichiro Sasae, Hon. Councillor Hirotaka Ishikawa, Hon. Councillor Toshiko Takeya, Hon. Councillor Kanae Yamamoto, President Tadateru Konoe of the Japanese Red Cross Society, and Counsellor Batyrkhan Kurmanseit from the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan.