Yemeni ambassador to Japan Mr. Ali Al-Sakkaf to YT:”I’m expecting a torrent of Japanese companies to invest in Yemen given that the country is virgin territory and of vast potential.” [Archives:2004/760/Community]

August 2 2004

One of the main donors and contributors to Yemen's development is no doubt, Japan. Being the second largest economy of the world, Japan's assistance to Yemen was instrumental in many aspects including municipality related projects. Hence, Yemen and Japan enjoy a strong and unique relationship based on mutual respect and understanding.
To focus more on the relations between the two country, Yemen Times met with Yemen's ambassador to Japan, Mr. Ali Aidroos Yahya AL-Sakkaf, who has been serving as the ambassador of Yemen to Japan since 2003. During the interview, Mr. AL-Sakkaf focused on cooperation and relations between the two countries. Here are excerpts from the interview.

Q: How do you assess Yemen-Japan relations today?
A: With the reference to events and figures, I could say that Yemen – Japan relations are excellent, and Japan enjoys a prominent position in the Yemeni foreign policy agenda. Japan is one of the main countries that provide aid and assistance to Yemen. Japan has enjoyed the respect and appreciation of Yemen, not only because of the package of aids and assistance, but because of its foreign policy orientation in general, which has been appreciated by the whole world. Yemeni people don't hide their admiration for the Japanese expertise in particular in fields of manufacturing, technological advancement and utilization of science and knowledge in favor of mankind.

Q: The Japanese government is among the largest donors to Yemen, what are the fields of donations?
A: Japanese donations mostly cover technical fields, infrastructure-development like education, health, training as well as cultural aids and environmental assistance.

Q: This year, there will be Japanese cultural activities in Yemen to commemorate Sanaa as the capital of Arab culture 2004. Could you brief us on that?
A: The Japanese Embassy in Sanaa, in cooperation with Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Yemen, will be holding cultural activities in Sanaa from July 28th-30th, in line with activities commemorating Sanaa as the capital of Arab Culture in 2004. Such activities, which include the showing of Japanese films and briefing on its history, as well as showings of Japanese folklore, fashion etc, would be a significant addition to our efforts toward consolidating people to people relations. It is noteworthy that Japanese culture is affluent with values and norms, which I believe, would be admired and commended by Yemenis.

Q: What about Yemen's participation in Aichi 2005 in Nagoya?
A: The participation of Yemen in EXPO 2005 AICHI is very important, given that this is a good opportunity for our country to show itself in this international festival, which continues for six months. We need to show the world that Yemen is still holding to the meaning of Arabia Felix. The coming EXPO 2005 is a chance to carry out some activities including promoting the tourism industry and touting for world investment etc. The republic of Yemen has already confirmed its participation and presented it comprehensive view in regard to that. Recently, a delegation from Yemen visited Japan to see the site of the Yemeni booth at EXPO in Nagoya city, and exchange views with the secretariat of the Exposition. A reciprocal Japanese delegation is currently visiting Yemen, continuing the exchange of views with the relevant authorities there.

Q: What would you like to convey to the Japanese government and embassy in Yemen through the newspaper?
A: I would like to congratulate the Ambassador, Ichie for the achievements he is accomplishing in Yemen, as well as the respect and appreciation he is getting from various levels. I would also like to extend my gratitude to him and the members of the embassy for their efforts in strengthening bilateral relations. I believe such efforts reinforce the efforts we are excreting here in Tokyo, to achieve the noble objectives we all are seeking. For the government of Japan I would like to extend my gratitude for the aid and support it has extended to the Republic of Yemen. In the coming years, I'm looking forward to seeing more promotion and development in cooperative bilateral relations. I'm expecting a torrent of Japanese companies to invest in Yemen given that the country is virgin territory and of vast potential.

Q: Any other comments?
A: I would like to express my profound gratitude to the Yemen Times newspaper for the opportunity to address its esteemed readers and brief them on some glorious points of our diplomatic relations with Japan. It is also my pleasure to commend you on the efforts of the newspaper in increasing knowledge and enlightening in our country.