President Yahya Jammeh yesterday received in audience at State House in Banjul the Japanese Ambassador to the Gambia based in Dakar, Hiroshi Fukada.
This comes a day after the Japanese government handed over equipment worth D2.5 billion to the Gambia government at a presentation ceremony presided over by the vice president and minister of Women's Affairs, Isatou Njie-Saidy, at the premises of the Maintenance Services Agency (MSA) in Kotu.
The equipment included six bulldozers, four ambulances, nine Pickup trucks, three rescue boats, seven excavators, 7 Tipper trucks, 1 truck with trailer and 7 silent generators. The donated equipment are expected to support in disaster management and rapid response initiatives in The Gambia.
The Japanese Government also donated 4, 503 metric tonnes of clean rice valued at D80 million to The Gambia.
Speaking to waiting reporters shortly after a closed-door meeting with the Gambian leader, the Japanese ambassador said it was a great honour to meet with President Yahya Jammeh on the important occasion of the 48th independence anniversary of The Gambia.
According to him, his meeting with the Gambian leader availed him the opportunity to renew the friendly cooperation between The Gambia and Japan.
On the donation by the Japanese to the Gambia government, the Japanese ambassador said the first one was the handing-over of materials to cope with natural disaster, which amounts to D166 million.
"The second was the water supply materials worth D300 million while the third was food aid of Japanese rice, and all this was based on the cooperation between The Gambia and Japan," he stated.
This, he added, is geared towards supporting the friendly relationship between the Gambia and Japan.
"I hope our assistance would contribute to the development of The Gambia coping with disaster, and food shortage, just to name a few."
The Japanese diplomat also told reporters that he has extended an invitation to President Jammeh to attend the Tokyo International Conference on African Development to be held in Japan in June this year.