Rwanda: Japanese Envoy Bids Farewell After Three Years in Rwanda

The Japanese envoy to Rwanda, Takayuki Miyashita, has announced he will this week be leaving Rwanda to his new diplomatic posting in Tajikistan, where he has been deployed in a similar capacity.

Miyashita said this earlier this week during a farewell dinner hosted in his honour.

Miyashita said his time in Rwanda has been a successful one, saying that the highlight was the fact that President Paul Kagame visited Japan twice this year.

President Kagame and First Lady were in Japan for an official visit in January this year, and was back in the country in August for TICAD (Tokyo International Conference on African Development.

He said that bilateral cooperation has grown stronger each year.

"I was very lucky because I served in this country when Japan-Rwanda relations developed so dramatically. I am excited by how the exchanges between Japan and Rwanda developed so wonderfully so far," he said.

The farewell evening reception was attended by a number of fellow envoys representing their countries in Rwanda as well as government officials.

Miyashita said that as he goes, he leaves behind unfinished business that still awaits his successor, including the next phase of Rwandan satellite (RWASAT2) which will be launched into the orbit next month on November 18.

The satellite, which was developed by a team of Rwandan engineers with support from Tokyo University in Japan, is expected to significantly boost the country's agriculture sector.

"There are many things to do with this country. Maybe I am going to leave this country but I will always think about it wherever I will go. If there is something I can do, would like to do my part, maybe not as the Ambassador of Japan, but as a private citizen," he said.

While in Rwanda, the two countries' cultural relations also grew and the envoy introduced the annual Ambassador's Cup Karate championship following a training programme in which over 3,000 Rwandan karate players were selected and got training by the Japanese karate professionals.

It was also during his time that the number of Japanese companies increased from seven to 28, something which he pledged to continue to encourage Japanese companies to venture into Rwandan market.

"I am happy to leave this country with good results. Since we have several success stories of Japanese business people here in Rwanda I am sure people will keep coming [to invest in Rwanda]," he said.

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