A few days ago, the Japanese Ambassador to Egypt, Noki Masaki, awarded Abdel Fattah Ragab, the honorary consul of the State of Japan in Alexandria, the Order of the Rising Sun, in appreciation of his role and efforts in developing bilateral relations between the two countries, and his contributions to consolidating trade exchange and encouraging investment between the two countries since 2004.
A big event was held in the city of Alexandria to celebrate this occasion, in which the Japanese ambassador expressed his gratitude for the efforts of the honorary consul in the governorate of Alexandria, as one of the consuls distinguished for his exceptional efforts for the two countries throughout his years of work, which contributed to the strengthening of bilateral friendly relations and the strengthening of economic relations.
Ragab thanked the State of Japan for this honor, stressing that it would not have happened without a number of leaders on both sides, the Egyptian and Japanese, who played a great role in completing his work tasks to the fullest, in strengthening bilateral relations and strengthening relations between the two countries on the social, commercial and economic levels, to be a gateway to expand cooperation horizons and benefit from mutual investments and opportunities and about his cooperation with the Japanese Consulate.
“At the time of my appointment as an honorary consul in 2004, there was a strong motive, which is that dealing with the Japanese is a catalyst for success … Despite the changing global conditions in recent years, I was keen to be a representative of the Japanese in Alexandria, to convey a true picture of them to the Alexandrians, who do not know much about Japan, its people and culture,” Ragab said.
Ragab indicates that he received the news several months ago, but it was not possible to meet and obtain the medal due to the coronavirus crisis, and during the meeting and the rituals for receiving the medal, the ambassador informed him that the Emperor of Japan grants it to those who make major contributions in various fields, so Ragab felt proud to represent his country.
Ragab made great contributions in the areas of cooperation between Cairo and Tokyo, as he made worked on explaining the Egyptian economic situation and government laws and introducing them to the steps required to enter the Egyptian market, as well as overcoming investment obstacles they may face.
Ragab also had a role in establishing the Egyptian-Japanese University, as he attended all the founding meetings of this entity and participated in coordination with the Minister of Higher Education to follow up with all the steps until the project came to be.
Cooperation between Ragab and Tokyo on the governmental level began in 2002, when Japan announced that it needed an honorary consul in Alexandria to represent it in Egypt. After two years of research and consultations, it chose Ragab, a businessman who owns a number of companies, to take over the task.
The ceremony, which was held at the Hilton King’s Ranch Hotel, was attended by representatives from the Japanese Embassy in Cairo and the Honorary Consulate. The Consul and his entourage were also given memorial shields bearing pharaonic drawings.
Japan awarded prominent Egyptian names with the Rising Sun medal, including Ambassador Fayza Abul-Naga, advisor to the president for national security, Nabil Fahmy, former Egyptian Foreign Minister, Hisham El-Zamiti, former Egyptian ambassador to Japan, and Egyptian athlete Mohamed Rashwan.
Next year, Egypt will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the history of modern relations between the two countries, which were established in 1922 when Japan recognized the independence of Egypt. Since then, there have been friendly relations represented by many visits by senior diplomats from both countries.
The Egyptian-Japanese relations go beyond the official borders and the traditional aspects of cooperation to joint cultural, scientific and economic ties.