Islamabad - The emperors in Japan are featured as a symbol of national unity. Japanese Royal family is the oldest existing ancestry in the world dating back to more than 2000 years since the foundation of the first Emperor Jimmu in 660 B.C. Emperor Akihitowas born in Tokyo on 23rd December 1933 as the first son of the late Emperor Hirohito (Showa). This day is celebrated as the national holiday.

 Ambassador of Japan, H.E. Takashi Kurai and his wife, Rieko Kurai hosted a remarkable reception to mark the 84th Birthday of their majesty Emperor Akihito, the 125thEmperor of Japan. Federal Minister for Commerce and Textile, Muhammad Pervaiz Malik, who was invited as the chief guest couldn’t make it to the venue due to unrest in the capital. A large number of guests including Government Officials, Diplomats, civilians, media representatives and business community joined the reception. Deputy Chairman Senate Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haidri, Governor Baluchistan Muhammad Khan Achakzai, National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. (retd.) Nasser Janjua, Provincial Minister for Labour and Human Resources, Raja Ashfaq Sarwar, Senator Gen(R) Abdul Qayum, MQM Leader Abdul Rashid Godil, PkMAP president Mehmood Khan Achakzai, MNA  Sheikh Rashid Ahmed were among the prominent guests. Pakistan army was represented by Lieutenant (Lt) General Javed Mahmood Bukhari Quartermaster General (QMG) who given special protocol by the Japanese ambassador. National anthems of Pakistan and Japan were played and a cake cutting ceremony also took place. The function was very well organized thanks to the efforts of Takashi Kurai.

There was unprecedented media representation, an unusual sight in diplomatic functions. This reflected the strong connectivity of Japanese embassy with Pakistan Media Houses. The participation of women from all walks of life showed how Japan has focused on Women Empowerment in Pakistan.

Lieutenant (Lt) General Javed Mahmood Bukhari Quartermaster General (QMG) is appointed as the Colonel Commandant of Corps of Engineers. He has an extraordinary service record and contributions towards nation building, defense, and operations. Lt. General Bukhari has also served as both Brigade Commander and GOC SWAT while Director General ISPR Major Gen.Asif Ghafoor has also served as GOC Swat.

The “sit-in” at Faizabad was a hot topic of discussion among the participants with many appearing to be quite satisfied with the peaceful resolution of the issue in Islamabad. Pakistan Army under the leadership of Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa took a keen interest in resolving the issue and restoring normal life in Islamabad.

Guests also visited the stall of Japanese automobile industry; the backbone of the country’s economy.  The participants also enjoyed the highlights of Japanese cuisine.  There are very few receptions where the guests pay special attention to food and Japanese reception always has been one of them. Head of Press and Cultural Section of Japan embassy, Katsunori Ashida himself looked after the sushi stalls. Sushi is the most famous Japanese dish, familiar to food-lovers all over the world.

 History tells us that Japan used to be the second largest economy in the world and has only recently moved to the third position after USA and China. Japanese are disciplined and hardworking people with an amazing work ethic. Children in Japan learn character education at an early age and participate actively to become a member of their country. Their skills are often more admired than strength

Japanese value harmony, civility, and honesty.  Japanese ambassador, Takashi Kurai, is a polite human being who knows the art of diplomacy and has made a special place in the heart of others. He delivered a speech at the reception in which he referred to the visit of Japanese Emperor and Empress to Pakistan in 1962 and how warmly they recall it.

 He also said that this year marks the 65th anniversary of Japan-Pakistan diplomatic relations. He was pleased to share that they organized 23 cultural events in 2017 in which more than 12 thousand Pakistanis took part.

He further said that Japan will continue to implement development projects in Pakistan as it did in the past. The projects include rehabilitation of roads, strengthening of power transmission lines, polio eradication campaign, water supply, education and so forth.

 He congratulated on the completion of the project of Indus Highway. This is the one for rehabilitation of 65% of the whole length of 1200km of the highway from Peshawar to Hyderabad which started in late 1980’s and finished this year. He said that Japan will continue to support Pakistan in its efforts towards economic development and further democratization.

 He said that we should make all efforts to strengthen relations between the people of both countries.

–The writer is a freelance contributor