Rwanda: Kwibuka30 - Japanese Envoy Vows to Advocate for Rwanda's Peace Efforts

Kiyoto Tsuji, the State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, visited Kigali Genocide Memorial on Thursday, May 23, to pay tribute to the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

WATCH: On Thursday, May 23, Kiyoto Tsuji, State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, and his delegation visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Gisozi. They paid their respects to the victims as Rwanda marks the 30th anniversary of the Genocide against the Tutsi. The New Times (Rwanda) (@NewTimesRwanda) May 23, 2024

During his visit, Tsuji, who arrived in the country on Wednesday, met various Rwandan leaders to strengthen bilateral relations.

After touring the Genocide Memorial, Tsuji laid a wreath at the mass graves where over 250,000 victims are buried.

"This is my first official visit to Rwanda. My condolences go out to the victims of the genocide and their families," he stated in a press interview.

"It has been 30 years, and Japan will always stand by Rwanda. This is not just about Rwanda or about us; it's about the entire global community. The tragedy and the Rwandan people's will and efforts to overcome it through unity are signs of courage and virtue that the whole world should acknowledge."

Regarding Japan's role in aiding Rwanda's rebuilding journey, Tsuji said: "Japan has been contributing through peacekeeping efforts and overseas development in Rwanda.

"I will bring what I saw and heard back to Japan and try to persuade people to never forget what has happened and to always realistically consider what Rwandans are doing to create peace in the future. We can contribute even more to that effort."

The diplomatic relationship between Japan and Rwanda dates back to 1962, when Masaya Hattori, a Japanese banker, became the first Governor of the Central Bank of Rwanda at the request of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Hattori focused on increasing and diversifying agricultural production and establishing a trading system.

Japan's development cooperation in Rwanda includes loans, grants, and technical assistance, prioritizing economic infrastructure, agricultural development, social service improvement, and human resources development. Japan is among the top 10 countries importing Rwandan coffee, accounting for 3.06% of exported coffee in 2023.

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