The ambassador of Japan to Botswana, Masahiro Onishi has pledged his country’s support for Botswana and communicated the admiration and honour they hold for the country. “Botswana is a very critical friend of Japan. We the people of Japan value the partnership we share,” said Onishi. The ambassador was speaking during a press conference hosted by the embassy recently to update the media on current and upcoming events and activities of the Embassy of Japan in Botswana for the Second half of 2017. He gave a briefing on various topics ranging from Politics, Development Cooperation, Cultural Exchange, covering among others TICAD Ministerial Meeting held in Mozambique, Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects and Cultural Grassroots Projects, Exhibition of students’ painting from Japan, Press Tour on the Japan’s Development Cooperation, Japan Film Festival, Friends of Japan Reception, Dispatch of Judo Expert and Lecture and Demonstration of Japanese Culture. The upcoming events include the Handover ceremony of West Hanahai Preschool in Ghanzi district which will be held on the 19th of October at West Hanahai.
The project was done through the Japanese government’s ‘Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP). According to Onishi, Ghanzi District has received an amount of US$43,510 (approx. BW471, 397) for the project, following the signing of grant contract with the embassy on the 15th of February 2016. Other upcoming projects that Onishi briefed members of the media about include exhibition of students painting from Japan which will be held at Ben Thema Primary School on the 23rd up to the 27th of October. The Japan Film Festival will run from the 22nd up until the 26th of November. “Botswana is a very friendly country and our relationship has always been fruitful,” said the Japanese ambassador, adding that Japan will continue to give technical assistance to Botswana and offer small grassroots human security grants. “The Government of Japan, through the Japan embassy in Botswana has and will continue to maintain and promote friendly relations based on the sharing of fundamental values such as democracy, the rule of law, respect of human rights,” said Onishi.
The government of Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grass Roots Human Security Projects supports projects addressing social problems and /or aiming at community development at grass roots level. The West Hanahai preschool project is the 44th project approved among the total of 49 projects formulated since the grant scheme was introduced in Botswana in 1997. The diplomatic ties between Japan and the Republic of Botswana date back to the time when Botswana attained its independence from Britain in1966. The Embassy of Japan in Botswana was later established in 2008, with the aim to nurture the long term cordial relations between the two countries.