Japanese ambassador to Brunei Darussalam praised the sultanate’s effective response in combatting the spread of COVID-19 infection, thanks to the hard work and dedication of front-line health workers.

In his speech at the recent soiree to celebrate the 61st birthday of Emperor Naruhito, Eiji Yamamoto said that no country can be safe without making others safe under a pandemic.

“Japan spares no effort to support other countries in tackling COVID-19 and that Japan is set to increase its commitment and contribute USD200 million to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment, extending full support to ensure equitable access to vaccines for all,” he said.

Japanese Ambassador to Brunei Eiji Yamamoto (2nd R) and Minister of Health Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Md Isham Hj Jaafar (2nd L) at the celebration of Emperor of Japan’s 61st birthday. Image: Zaim Kasmat

Ambassador Yamamoto further said that Japan is working closely with ASEAN and committed to contributing over USD50 million to establish ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases and the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund.

He also extended his heartiest congratulations to Brunei for chairing ASEAN 2021, fully supporting the country’s leadership.

“Now we focus on caring for those who suffer medically or economically out of COVID but at the same time we have to prepare now for post-COVID prosperity,” added Yamamoto.

Japanese Ambassador to Brunei Eiji Yamamoto delivering his remarks at the celebration of Emperor of Japan’s 61st birthday. Image: Zaim Kasmat

The ambassador is also hopeful that these difficult times can be overcome and the Japanese government is keen to host the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer.

”Japan, together with the International Olympic Committee, is fully committed to hosting the games while attaching utmost priority to the health and safety of all athletes and audiences. We warmly welcome Bruneian athletes in Tokyo,” continued Yamamoto.

Furthermore, the ambassador highlighted that Japan is steadfast in reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050, realising a carbon-neutral society.

Japan, he added, will work together with other countries including Brunei, and lead international efforts at this year’s 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) and beyond, in order to realise a decarbonised world.

Japanese Ambassador to Brunei Eiji Yamamoto (2nd R) and Minister of Health Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Md Isham Hj Jaafar (2nd L) at the celebration of Emperor of Japan’s 61st birthday. Image: Zaim Kasmat

Ambassador also outlined Japan’s ambitious efforts in Brunei such as successful production and transportation of hydrogen from Brunei to Japan led by AHEAD and the solar power project between the government of Brunei and Mitsubishi Corporation

“Japan will continue to support Brunei in its efforts to diversify its economy and create a green society,” concluded the ambassador.

Guests at the evening reception had the opportunity to visit booths from some of the Japanese businesses based in Brunei and enjoyed Japanese cuisine while watching some videos highlighting young Bruneians’ involvement in Japanese sports, cultural and educational programmes.

THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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