Kuwait''s Embassy in Tokyo celebrates National Days

TOKYO, Feb 26 (KUNA) -- The Kuwaiti Embassy in Tokyo held a large reception Monday evening on the occasion of Kuwait's 52nd National Day and the 22nd anniversary of Liberation Day, bringing nearly 1,000 guests including former Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yukio Edano.In an atmosphere of happiness and harmony, high-ranking officials, political, military and parliamentary figures, businessmen, academics and diplomats as well as representatives of the Japan-Kuwait Society attended the event.Kuwaiti Ambassador to Japan Abdulrahman Al-Otaibi congratulated His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and Hiss Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah and the Kuwaiti people.In his speech at the reception, the ambassador stressed that these occasions have a special and dear value in the heart of every Kuwaiti, saying, "The Independence Day carries the significance of democracy which foundations have been laid by the Constitution ratified in 1962, and by which, Kuwait has been living its 'Democracy Spring.'" "Since its Independence, the State of Kuwait has highly emphasized the humanitarian side. Therefore, it established the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development in 1962 to assist sister and friendly countries around the world in implementing their own development programs," Al-Otaibi said. "As a token of appreciation for this leading role, countries throughout the world supported Kuwaits righteous cause during the brutal invasion by the defunct Iraqi regime in 1990." Kuwait's top diplomat here also said the Kuwaiti people feel much appreciation and gratitude to Japan for its historical and noble stances in support of Kuwait since the latters independence. "Japan was among the first countries to recognize Kuwait as an independent state, and it was among the first countries to contribute to its construction and development programs, and among the first countries to support Kuwait both financially and environmentally during the Iraqi invasion and after its Liberation in 1990-1991," he underlined.He also shed light on the historical state visit to Japan by HH the Amir last March upon the invitation by the Emperor. "The warm welcome that His Highness has received and the fruitful outcome of this visit prove how much our countries are keen to strengthen our bilateral relations," Al-Otaibi said.Japanese officials expressed gratitude to HH the Amir and the Kuwaiti people for the fullest support in solidarity with Japan after the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and ensuring tsunami in March 2011 that left about 19, 000 people dead or missing in the northeastern region. "The people of the areas as well as the whole of Japan shall never forget the feelings of gratitude toward Kuwait," Yuriko Koike, Chairwoman of the Japan-Kuwait Parliamentary Friendship League said in her speech. "Kuwait offered one of the earliest and biggest supports for the affected areas. The assistance from Kuwait covers a lot of ground," Koike said. Following the disasters, Kuwait donated 5 million barrels of crude oil to Japan, equivalent to some USD 500 million, to support its reconstruction work. In addition, during his visit to Japan last March, HH the Amir expressed his intention to donate USD 2 million to the Japanese Red Cross Society and USD 3 million to heavily-damaged marine science museum called Aquamarine Fukushima. "Let me express my heartfelt gratitude to HH the Amir and the people of Kuwait as well as Ambassador Al-Otaibi, who made repeated visits to the devastated areas and provided accurate information about Japan's needs to his home country, and the staff members of the Embassy," she added. Speaking to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), Aquamarine Fukushima Executive Director Yoshitaka Abe said restoration work of his museum is on track. "We thank His Highness and the Kuwaiti people for this generous donation, and appreciate the ambassador for his unstinted support," Abe said. The museum is building a memorial park with a monument in a show of gratitude to the Kuwaiti contribution, which will become a symbol of hope for reconstruction.The reception was also attended by Second Secretary Hamad Al-Mulla and Third Secretaries Abdulaziz Al-Dalah and Mohammad Al-Othman. During the ceremony, the embassy held a photo exhibition showing last year's state visit by HH the Amir and Kuwait's support to Japan's post-quake reconstruction efforts, and distributed the latest issue of Japan-Kuwait Society's newsletter to guests. (end) mk.asa KUNA 260925 Feb 13NNNN  By Miyoko Ishigami (with Photos)