Japan-Djibouti Relations

October 23, 2019

On October 23, commencing at 9:20 a.m. for approximately 30 minutes, Mr. KIHARA Minoru, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Japan, held a meeting with H.E. Mr. Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed, Prime Minister of the Republic of Djibouti. The overview of the meeting is as follows.

1. Opening Remarks

Special Advisor to the Prime Minister Kihara welcomed the visit by H.E. Mr. Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed to Japan and stated, “I truly appreciate President Guelleh’s attendance to TICAD7 in August and Djibouti’s strong support for Japanese initiatives such as promotion of free and open Indo-Pacific, which was shown at the Special Conference on Promoting Cooperation in the Western Indian Ocean on the margin of TICAD7, and counter-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden, at the Special Conference on Peace and Stability in the Horn of Africa and the Neighboring Region.”

In response, Prime Minister Abdoulkader expressed his sympathy to those affected by the Typhoon Hagibis. Also, he expressed his appreciation for positive role Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) played in Djibouti, such as the counter-piracy and capacity building operation to Djibouti in the field of disaster response, for which JSDF used a base in Djibouti. Moreover, he thanked for Japan’s project of providing a ferry, on which Exchange of Notes had been recently signed. And he expressed his expectation that the ferry would improve connectivity between City of Djibouti and Cities of Tadjoura and Obock, which are located across the Gulf of Tadjoura from City of Djibouti.

2. Bilateral Relations

Special Advisor Kihara stated that “Japan would like to continue to contribute to regional connectivity and promotion of blue economy, through the measures such as a grant aid worth approximately 4.1 billion yen for providing a ferry resistant to a seasonal wind and the improvement of the harbors , as mentioned by Prime Minister Abdoulkader.” Also, he stated, “Through counter-piracy operations, Japan has contributed to marine security in the waters near Djibouti, which would eventually contribute to regional peace and stability. I would like to ask continuous and total support from Djibouti for activities of the JSDF based in Djibouti.” Moreover, he said that Japan would support Djibouti’s measures to ensure debt sustainability.

In response, Prime Minister Abdoulkader expressed his appreciation for assistances provided by the Government of Japan, and reaffirmed Djibouti’s continuous support for activities of the JSDF, whose operation was based in Djibouti. Also, he demonstrated the solidarity between the two countries by introducing an episode that President Guelleh had named a square in Djibouti City as “Place de Tokyo” just after the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.

3. Regional Issues

Special Advisor Kihara and Mr. Abdoulkader exchanged views regarding maritime security in the region and situations in Yemen and Somalia, which might have influence on peace and stability in the region. After the discussion, they shared the view that they would continue their cooperation on regional peace and stability.

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