By Yasunari Morino, Ambassador of Japan to Kuwait
On the occasion of the 62nd National Day of the State of Kuwait and the 32nd Anniversary of its liberation, I wish to express my sincere congratulations and best wishes for the further development and prosperity of the country and its people.
Japan was one of the first countries to recognize the independence of Kuwait in 1961. Moreover, the relationship between the two countries started even before the independence, in the middle of 1950s when the Arabian Oil Company (AOC) of Japan was granted with an oil concession in Kuwait. Since then, over the past six decades, the Japan-Kuwait relations have continued to develop and expand in all fields and at all levels, including the friendship between the Japanese Imperial family and Kuwaiti Ruling family.
The relation between our two countries could be described as “friends in need and friends indeed”. Japan and Kuwait have always exchanged support at crucial moments in their history. Supporting Kuwait resolutely in face of the Iraqi invasion, Japan provided financial contribution for Kuwait’s liberation. Furthermore, Japan dispatched a mine-sweeping unit of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Forces to clean the Gulf waters and Kuwaiti territorial waters from mines.
On the other hand, about 10 years ago when Japan was devastated by horrible earthquakes and a tsunami, Kuwait donated five million barrels of crude oil and additional five million USD assistance for the reconstruction which the people of Japan will never forget.
Based on such historical friendship between the two countries, I would like to develop bilateral cooperation beyond the traditional oil trade and expand it to further various fields, including development of sustainable infrastructure and people-to-people exchanges in the areas of education and tourism.