Karzai meets Japanese emperor, vows to restore peace
Tokyo, July 6, 2006 (AFP) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai met Japanese Emperor Akihito and said he wanted to build peace in the war-torn nation so he could some day invite the emperor and empress.
"I will make efforts to turn the nation peaceful and wonderful so I could invite you some day," Karzai said as quoted by an Imperial Household Agency spokesman.
Karzai is on a four-day trip to Japan and participated in the Conference on Consolidation of Peace in Afghanistan held in Tokyo Wednesday.
The emperor replied to the president, "I understand you have many difficulties, but I hope you overcome (them) and that your country will be reconstructed soon."
Karzai also expressed his gratitude for Japan 's aid for Afghanistan 's reconstruction efforts.
"The Afghan people respect you and deeply appreciate the support Japan has extended," he was quoted as saying.
Japan has been a major contributor to Afghanistan's efforts to rebuild after three decades of war ended with the Taliban's fall to a US-led coalition in late 2001.
Tokyo has provided about 1.0 billion dollars in assistance for security and development, and in January pledged another 450 million dollars.
Of that 60 million dollars was earmarked at the Wednesday meeting for bolstering the local police force and fighting drug production and trafficking.