Somalia must seize the opportunity to develop its marine resources after decades of neglect, His Excellency President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said in Japan today.
Speaking in Tokyo on the second day of his visit to Japan, the President said:
"We have the longest coastline in Africa and now that the country is recovering from conflict we need to learn how to develop our marine resources profitably and sustainably and also defend our territorial waters.
This visit to Japan helps us lay the foundations for such development guided by international best practice."
The President visited the port of Yokohama and its Japanese coastguard centre, where he was briefed on the country's comprehensive coastguard training programmes and how it conducts operations to protect its coastal zone.
The President also met the leadership of the Nippon Foundation, a private, not-for-profit grant-making body specializing in maritime development and humanitarian assistance.
He praised the government and people of Japan for the country's ambitious development programme in Somalia.
"We have come to Japan with a number of project proposals which we hope Japan will be assisting us with," the President said.
"These include agricultural projects, livestock, fisheries and marine resources as well as other assistance targeted at rebuilding our institutions."
During the rest of his visit to Japan the President will be meeting Emperor Akihito and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
He is accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation H.E. Abdirahman Duale Beileh, Minister of Planning H.E. Saciid Abdullahi Mohamed and Minister of Public Works & Reconstruction H.E Nadiifo Mohamed Osman.