Arab News Japan
Japan’s Ambassador to Lebanon OKUBO Takeshi on Tuesday released a statement celebrating Emperor Naruhito’s 61st birthday.
In a letter shared with Arab News Japan, Okubo said: “Like last year, the Embassy of Japan has tried to hold our annual reception in honor of His Majesty the Emperor’s birthday. Yet, given the current coronavirus situation in Lebanon, the Embassy of Japan has regrettably decided to refrain from hosting the annual reception this year. I pray from the bottom of my heart that the pandemic would end as soon as possible and that we would be able to return to our normal daily lives.”
The Ambassador said that Lebanon, over the past year, had faced numerous challenges, from an economic and financial crisis to the tragic Aug. 4 Beirut explosion, which cost many lives and caused damage to the entire capital.
“The government and the people of Japan have had deep sympathy for Lebanon and provided emergency relief aid immediately after the tragedy. We have so far provided emergency grant assistance totaling more than 20 million US dollars, primarily through international organizations. In collaboration with the international community, Japan—as Lebanon’s friend in need—will continue to support the country, and also support reforms that the people of Lebanon seek and yearn for,” Okubo added.
Okubo said the COVID-19 pandemic will likely come with more difficulties, but he promised his determination to further strengthen relations between Lebanon and Japan.