Message from ISOMATA Akio, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the United Arab Emirates

Let us support the youth for our brighter future!
(July 2022)

  With Governor Koike at ATHS   Emirati HS students visiting Japan in July  
     Allow me, first of all, to express the deepest condolences to the passing in May of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the then President of the UAE. And I would also like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed on the assumption of the Presidency.
     His Excellency Mr. AMARI Akira, Special Envoy of the Prime Minister of Japan, visited the UAE on the occasion above to convey to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed sincere condolences on behalf of the government and people of Japan as well as their best wishes for the Presidency. Mr. Amari also met His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Her Excellency Ms. KOIKE Yuriko, Governor of Tokyo, also visited the UAE and met His Highness the President as well as other UAE dignitaries to express her deepest condolences.
     In less than two months after this, former Prime Minister of Japan, His Excellency ABE Shinzo, lost his life when he was delivering a campaign speech in Japan, due to a heinous crime of shooting targeting him. In response to this horrendous incident, there have been an outpouring of condolence messages from His Highness the President, senior government officials, business leaders as well as people from all corners of the UAE. They paid tribute to the memories of Mr. Abe, who made a huge contribution to the development of Japan-UAE relations, and we renewed our commitment to further strengthening of our relations overcoming this tragic turn of events.
     In moving ahead in strengthening Japan-UAE cooperation, promotion of youth exchanges continues to play an important role. Governor Koike, who visited Abu Dhabi in May, has been enthusiastically working on promoting exchanges of high school students between Japan and the UAE. She visited the Applied Technology High School in Abu Dhabi during her visit here, and encouraged students studying Japanese as part of their extracurricular activities. She also met and interacted with Emirati university students of "Japan Club" of Khalifa University and Zayed University. It is quite encouraging for us all as I understand the governor will proceed with further exchanges of high school students of both countries this year, as we mark the 50th anniversary of Japan-UAE diplomatic relations.
     There is an organization called "J-MENA" in Japan. It is a consortium of 29 major Japanese universities, and eagerly works for the promotion and support for acceptance of university and graduate school students from the MENA region in Japanese universities. Since its establishment in 2018, around 50 students from the MENA region, including the UAE, came to Japan to study under the aegis of the J-MENA. The J-MENA is led by the renowned Kyushu University, and Kyushu University is now organizing at the request of the UAE Ministry of Education a two-week study tour to Japan for 10 Emirati high school students from Abu Dhabi and Dubai with a view to giving the students opportunities to consider future possibilities of studying in Japanese universities. They will attend briefing sessions given by Kyushu University professors, and will also visit Kansai(Osaka and Kyoto), Kyushu (Fukuoka) and Tokyo to get acquainted with Japan and its culture. I understand there are also relevant works going on for the expansion of internship programs for Emirati youths in Japanese companies, as well as the provision of scholarship programs for Emirati students for studying in Japanese universities.
     President His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, soon after the assumption of his office, announced restructuring of the education sector, including establishing new posts of Minister of State for Public Education and Minister of State for Early Education, making clear that the focusing on education and human resource development continues to be a priority. In mid-July His Highness the President, in his nation-wide speech broadcast on local TV and radio channels, announced again that the empowering of the people of the UAE is the nation's top priority, and underlined the importance of further strengthening people's capabilities in science and technology as well as the role of the private sector as the society heads for the diversified economy. It is the youth who will lead us in creating a resilient future society with innovative ideas. Visiting of Japan by UAE's students and young corporate trainees including those mentioned above and empowering each other through people-to-people exchanges is extremely useful and of critical importance, as both countries strive for securing their own prosperity and further strengthening of mutually beneficial cooperative relations.
     We often say "Seeing is believing." But, I believe, only by visiting each other's country and interacting the people there, we can really nurture our interest in and truly share our thoughts with each other. So, allow me to rephrase it as "Experiencing is learning." Governments, corporate entities, academic/educational institutes, and whoever like-minded people, of both countries can each play a significant role to encourage their youths, with whatever resources they can avail themselves of, to further cultivate mutual interest and to act on it. I ask for your kind cooperation to this end. On the part of the Embassy of Japan, we will continue to render our maximum support, including assisting in the networking of UAE youths interested in Japan. We welcome your suggestion and advice. Let us work together.

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