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The Embassy of the Republic of Uganda in Tokyo celebrates the 56th Anniversary of Uganda's Independence

Saturday, 20th October 2018
(From left to right) Ambassador of Uganda, Tokyo - H.E. Betty Grace Akech-Okullo; Minister of State for Foreign Affairs/International Affairs of Uganda - Hon. Henry Okello Oryem; Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Japan and the Guest of Honour - Mr.
The Embassy of the Republic of Uganda in Tokyo celebrated the 56th Anniversary of Uganda's Independence at Hotel Okura in Tokyo on 9th October 2018, which was attended by Ambassadors from the different Embassies in Japan, Japanese government officials, the Japanese business community, Non Profit Organizations representatives, University presidents, the Ugandan community, as well as friends and supporters of Uganda.  Over 200 guests attended.

The school children from the Kanrei Shirayuri Gakuen Elementary School perfectly sang the National Anthems of Uganda and Japan accompanied by each child's pianica / wind piano and were met by a round of applause from the crowd after.

H.E. Betty Grace Akech-Okullo welcomed and thanked the guests for attending the reception.  She briefly recognized and introduced the Officials who would speak during the celebration.  She also extended her gratitude towards the school children who rendered the National Anthems and the well wishers who sent the gifts of beautiful flowers that adorned the reception hall.

After extending his warm greetings, Hon. Henry Oryem Okello delivered his speech regarding the strong Uganda-Japan bilateral relations through numerous development projects such as the New Nile Bridge, Post Conflict Rehabilitation of Northern Uganda; Japan's commitment to refugee support; hosting of Ugandan athletes by two Japanese cities (Izumisano and Tateshina) for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics; and continued win-win engagements of both countries like the ABE Initiative and other TICAD projects.  He informed of the improving trade and investment regime in Uganda and hoped that the Japanese business community would consider Uganda as a business and investment destination of choice.  He invited the guests to visit the "Pearl of Africa" to see for themselves the serene, beautiful and natural scenery complemented by hospitable and welcoming people. He expressed Uganda's commitment to ensure that the relationship between Uganda and Japan continues to grow from strength to strength.  He also took the opportunity to remind Ugandans to remain steadfast, stand tall and be united.  In closing, he thanked the organizations and companies such as: Zenitaka Corporation, EAA Co. Ltd., Saraya Co. Ltd.,  and Toyota Tsusho, which supported the publication of the Independence Day supplement in major Japanese newspapers i.e the Japan News and the Japan Times.

The Guest of Honour, Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Yamada Kenji, greeted the guests and thanked the Embassy for inviting him to the reception. He informed that Japan-Uganda relations have been steadily developing in various fields.  He recognized Uganda's political stability and steady progress in development. 

The Hon. Minister further recognized the two visits to Japan within a year of the two Ugandan Ministers i.e Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Sam Kutesa, and then the Minister of State for International Affairs, Hon. Henry Oryem Okello.  He noted the steady increase of Japanese companies doing business in Uganda.  He appreciated the   delivery of construction machines and the completion of the Nile Bridge which was ready for commissioning.  

In terms of culture and sports, he informed that Izumisano City and Tateshina Town would be hosting Ugandan athletes during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.  He also informed of the appointment of Mr. Piko Taro as the tourism Ambassador for Uganda.  He stated that the Japanese Government is determined to continue supporting further growth of Uganda and the entire Africa through steady implementation of the TICAD process, adding that preparations for TICAD VII to be held in 2019.were ongoing.  He closed his speech by conveying his wishes for the continued friendship between Japan and Africa, particularly Uganda..

Mr. Isao Iijima, who was recently reappointed as Advisor to the Government of Uganda, also delivered a congratulatory message to Uganda for celebrating its 56th Independence Anniversary. He expressed his gratitude for his reappointment to the above position.  He advised the Japanese business community to link up with the Embassy to know more about the business opportunities in Uganda.

Mr. Asahiko Mihara, Member of Parliament/Vice President of Japan - AU Parliamentary Assertion also congratulated Uganda and pledged his continued support to Uganda particularly in the hosting of Ugandan athletes in Izumisano City and Tateshina town. 

In his concluding remarks, he proposed the toast (Campai) for the celebration.  A Ugandan band group (Misoshiru Family band), entertained guests to Ugandan music while guests were partaking to the sumptuous Western and Ugandan dishes prepared by Hotel Okura.  The guests also enjoyed drinking Ugandan coffee, tea and waragi.  Gift bags containing Ugandan coffee, dried fruit, pen with Uganda colours as well as tourism brochures were handed out to each of the guests as they left the function.