The Charge d’Affaires of the Japanese Embassy, Mr. Shigeru Umetsu, said Japan intends to continue supporting Liberia in the energy and infrastructure sectors. His country is not only focusing its support to Liberia on the Ebola Virus Disease.
Speaking at the official handing over ceremony of the seven ambulances and 48 beds at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Mr. Umetsu expressed his deepest condolences to the people of Liberia.
The Japanese Charge d’ Affaires recalled that Japan was fast in responding to the Liberian people through financial and material assistance during the early outbreak of the virus.
He promised that Japan will not stop supporting Liberia in the fight against Ebola but also lead Liberia back on the development track and continue to stand side by side with Liberia.
The Japanese Diplomat stressed that despite the distance between Liberia and Japan, the Japanese people are very determined to support the Liberian people in the fight against Ebola, as the fight against Ebola is an international fight which includes Japan.
Representing the Government of Liberia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sylvester Grigsby, expressed appreciation to the Japanese government for the donation. He recognized that it hailed not just from government to government but also from people to people.
Mr. Grigsby recalled that since the beginning of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf-led administration, Japan has been there for the Liberian people. The partnership between both countries has seen projects including the reopening of the Japan-Liberia Friendship Hospital, the ground breaking for the four-lane Somalia Drive project, and the Japan Food Aid under the “KR Two” program.
Speaking at the Health Ministry, where the handing over ceremony took place, the Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister mentioned that the Liberian Ambassador in Tokyo had also been receiving phone calls and held meetings with students, members of Japan’s Parliament and ordinary Japanese willing to contribute to the fight against Ebola in Liberia. The Liberian Ambassador said there is currently a container at the Embassy in Japan with more than 1000 students’ footwear, gloves, PPEs and body bags awaiting shipment to Liberia.
On behalf of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Foreign Minister Augustine K. Ngafuan and the Government and People of Liberia, Mr. Grigsby thanked the Government and People of Japan for the solidarity that has not only been expressed but demonstrated.
For His part, the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Axel Addy recalled the launching of Liberia’s transformation agenda and Japan’s focused assistance on the infrastructure segment of the agenda.
Minister Addy stated that Japan and Liberia were in the process of building the Somalia Drive before the outbreak of Ebola.