The Ambassador - Speeches & Articles

December 2014

2014 Year-end Remarks

As we are nearing the end of 2014, I would like to take the opportunity to thank all my friends for their continued support and assure them that we will further strengthen our bilateral cooperative ventures in Kosovo in the coming year.

Since diplomatic relations were first established, Japan has continuously supported Kosovo's development and its growth as an independent, stable and prosperous democracy. And the relations between the two countries are still growing. 2014 has been a highly productive year.

One of the most significant events was the personal dialogue between our leaders. In April, then Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi visited Japan and met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. They discussed bilateral issues as well as opportunities for worldwide cooperation between the two countries based on shared values and signed the Joint Statement on Cooperation between Japan and the Republic of Kosovo.

Furthermore, to reflect the growing bilateral exchange, the Japan-Kosovo Parliamentary Group was formed and its president, Mr. Ryu Shionoya, member of the House of Representatives, then visited Kosovo in August. Also, a young Kosovan diplomat is now in Japan for attending an eight-month Japanese training program. I am pleased to notice that this kind of administrative exchange has developed besides the interactions on a political level.

As mentioned in the Joint Statement of April 2014, Japan will continue to provide economic assistance to Kosovo in order to further the stabilization of the economic and social infrastructure, including the development of human resources and the improvement of the environment. Through our cultural grant aid project implemented by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Government of Japan provided 117 musical instruments to the Kosovo Philharmonic Orchestra. The Orchestra’s Commemorative Concert performed in October under the baton of its principal conductor Toshio Yanagisawa was a highlight which symbolized our commitment to peace, stability and development in Kosovo.

In order to further facilitate and expand assistance, we should overcome all kinds of obstacles, including succession of treaties and international agreements that the Republic of Kosovo inherited from its predecessor states. We will endeavor to find mutually acceptable solutions in close consultations with the Kosovan authorities and other stakeholders in this regard.

I sincerely hope our friendship will continue to deepen in future and more Japanese people will get interested in Kosovo, a country with economic potential and a young and dynamic workforce. Japan is fully committed to continuing its support in the belief that the prosperity and stability of Kosovo is vital for the bright future of the entire Western Balkans region.

Makoto Taketoshi
Ambassador of Japan