Statement by the Press Secretary/Director-General for Press and Public Relations, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, on the Voting for the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House) and Provincial Council Elections in Afghanistan

September 18, 2005

  1. Japan welcomes the news that the voting for the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House) and Provincial Council Elections in Afghanistan was conducted on September 18 (Sun), and expects that the operation to decide the winner will be smoothly carried out.
  2. The elections will complete the political process in Afghanistan that has progressed since the Bonn Agreement in December 2001. According to the report of Japan's Election Observation Team led by Mr. Hideki Ito, Deputy Director-General of the Middle Eastern and African Affairs Bureau, as far as they monitored then, the elections were conducted without any major confusion to affect the result. The Joint Electoral Management Body (JEMB) organized by the United Nations and the Government of Afghanistan also appreciates the voting in the elections as there was no major confusion. Japan regards this as a very important progress in Afghanistan's nation rebuilding.
  3. The Government of Japan has been keenly concerned that these elections in Afghanistan should be conducted in a democratic and fair manner. In addition to the assistance for the voter registration and implementation of elections, Japan has assisted in creating an environment to enable Afghanistan to implement these elections in a democratic and fair manner through the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration of former soldiers (DDR) and Disbandment of Illegal Armed Groups (DIAG) to strengthen the examining process for candidate qualification.
  4. The Government of Japan will continue to extend assistance to Afghanistan in wide-range of fields such as security, humanitarian, and reconstruction aiming to realize consolidation of peace in the country.

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