[23rd March 2010]

46th Independence day celebrations at hotel New Otani



Honourable Members of the DIET,
Senator Kotaro Tamura and Hon. Yumiko Himei,
The Deputy Vice Minister for Foreign Policy, Mr. Koro Bessho,
The Chief Protocol Mr. Seiji Kojima,
The Director General for African Affairs, Mr. Yoshitaka Akimoto
The Director General for International Cooperation Bureau,
Amb. Masato Kitera,
The Vice President of JICA, Mr. Eiji Hashimoto
The Chairman of JETRO, Mr. Yasuo Hayashi
Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps,
Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Dear Kenyans,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I wish to thank you most sincerely for honouring us with your presence this evening to commemorate our 46th Independence Day. I therefore take this opportunity on behalf of the Government and People of Kenya, to convey heartfelt greetings to Their Majesties Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko for their role in promoting unity of the Japanese people as well as international goodwill.

I further congratulate Their Majesties for their 50th Wedding Anniversary celebrated in April this year as well as the 20th Anniversary of the Enthronement of His Majesty the Emperor. I trust Their Majesties will continue to enjoy good health and further wish for prosperity of the Imperial Household.

Allow me also to convey warm greetings to the most Honourable Prime Minister Mr. Yukio Hatoyama, the Government and People of this great and friendly nation for the successive elections held in August that saw the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) secure a majority of seats that enabled it form the government.

It is gratifying to note that Africa will remain a strategic partner to Japan judging from the Prime Minister’s pronouncement during the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September. His assurance regarding his government’s commitment to double Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) by the year 2012 within the TICAD IV Framework was received very well by the African Diplomatic Corps (ADC) in Tokyo which has been pursuing the African development agenda collectively.

As a major beneficiary of ODA from Japan, Kenya will continue playing her respective role in advancing the letter and spirit of the Yokohama Declaration of 2008 released after the conclusion of TICAD IV. Kenya in this regard will remain a strategic partner of Japan by providing a conducive atmosphere for enhancement of trade between our two friendly countries whose relationships can be traced to over four decades. I am particularly happy to report that Kenya is back on track after post election violence which was witnessed after the disputed Presidential results of the general elections held in December, 2007. This peace is an outcome of self-sacrifice by Kenya’s political leaders who quickly realized that the country was on the verge of collapse. The international community also played a critical role in brokering peace the resulted in the formation of a Grand Coalition Government that is now working.

Finally, I wish to thank the Government of Japan which has taken a lead role on matters of environmental governance. As the United Nations Conference on Climate Change progresses, Kenya wishes to appeal to the international community to recognize that the time to act is now. Kenya remains seized by environmental and climate change issues and as host to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), Kenya is keen to see UNEP’s role in environmental management enhanced, deepened and expanded. In this regard therefore, Kenya would like to see Copenhagen Conference outcomes that strengthen UNEP’s role in environment, climate change and enhancement of International Environmental Governance.

Once again, let me thank you all for attending this Reception which has made the occasion meaningful. I therefore request you all to charge your glasses and toast for all our leaders’ good health, prosperity and strengthening of our warm and cordial relations. Meanwhile, I wish you all a very happy festive season and a Prosperous New year.

KAMPAI ! ! ! !

Thank you very much.

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