Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko abdication from the throne is 36 days away on 30 April 2019. Hence, allow me on the onset of my remark to take this opportunity - availed to me in this evening - to wish their Majesties and the Imperial family good health and long life as well as to foresee a continued peace and prosperity to Japan during this historic moment of transition.
Please accept our heart felt thanks and deep gratitude for the kind hospitality and warm welcome extended to us since our arrival here in Tokyo. We are happy to be with you in spring when the Cherry blossom flowers. My colleague - Mr. Yemane Gebreab, political advisor to President ISAIAS - and myself are here at the invitation of the Government of Japan for a four-day working visit.
Peace and cooperation pact was signed between Eritrea and Ethiopia on July 8, 2018. The people of Eritrea and Ethiopia defeated the long war and have won peace now after more than six decades of a conflict era, which entailed unparalleled sacrifices never seen in the modern history of mankind. And this new development has exerted greater weight on the region's current political, economic, cultural, and security dynamics as its implications progress on a positive trajectory engulfing all the political forces and countries of the region.
All eyes are now on the integration of East African countries within the region and to the global markets. East Africa is finally at a doorstep of a new page of its history - writing down the unfolding of an epoch of peace, stability, prosperity and regional integration.
Given this historic paradigm shift in our part of the continent of Africa, we are here for four days in a mission to seek ways and means of mutually starting up of the building of a new all weather bridge of partnership connecting Eritrea and Japan.
We believe, at this important juncture of our history Japan's public and private sector should positively consider active participation by creating robust business tie-ups, implementations of connectivity infrastructures, SDGs and peace building and to use these mechanisms of collaboration as a long term leverage to restore sustainable relationships with the growing economy and promising future market in East Africa.
We are looking forward to a constructive engagement with Foreign Minister Taro KONO and other politicians, public and private officials, business leaders, mayors, academics, and compatriots during our four-day stay in Japan.
Last but not least, let me also take this opportunity to thank Kanagawa Prefecture, Odawara City, Oiso Town and Hakone Town for their continued support and friendship which is being mutually undertaken with Eritrea under the "Host Town Initiative" towards a successful participation of our athletes in TOKYO2020 and beyond.
Success breeds success. I extend our invitation to all present here to pay a visit to Eritrea.
We look forward to your support,
Thank you again