Meeting between Mr. Katsuhito Asano, Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Haneef Atmar, Minister of Education of Afghanistan

June 5, 2007

On June 1 (Fri), Mr. Katsuhito Asano, Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, held a meeting with Mr. Haneef Atmar, Minister of Education of Afghanistan, for about 30 minutes from 15:15.  The gist of the meeting is as follows:

  1. Mr. Asano said “a country with sound education develops.  The future of Afghanistan, whose education is led by a young minister like yourself (Minister Atmar, 38 years old), is bright.  Your role is important.”  Mr. Atmar then said:

    (1) On behalf of the government and the people of Afghanistan, I would like to convey my sincere condolences on the passing of Mr. Toshikatsu Matsuoka, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

    (2) I appreciate the generous contribution, including the support for education, which Japan has made to Afghanistan.

    (3) Providing access to and promoting the quality of education in Afghanistan is needed.  The number of children who go to school has reached about 6 million, but more than a half of our children remain out of school.  The number of teachers has also increased by more than seven times, but about 80% of them are still unlicensed.  

    (4) The development of education is important to the improvement of security, border control and counter-narcotics in Afghanistan, and it also contributes to regional stability.  The people of Afghanistan have enthusiasm for advancing their own development.  I would like Japan to support this enthusiasm.

  2. Mr. Asano said “Japan will continue supporting the self-help efforts of the Afghan people.  We would like to make every effort while sincerely responding to the demands from the field.  I am glad that today I have heard Mr. Atmar’s sincere thoughts on education.  I would like to make use of today’s conversation in supporting Afghanistan.”