The 17th Anniversary of National Day


H.E. Mr. Abdirashid Dulane Ambassador of Ethiopia to Japan

アブディラシッド・ ドゥラネ エチオピア駐日全権大使

H.E. Mr. Abdirashid Dulane
Ambassador of Ethiopia to

It gives me great pleasure and honour on the 17th anniversary of our National Day to convey on behalf of the government and people of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia our heart-felt, respectful greetings and best wishes to Their Imperial Majesties Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, members of Imperial Family, and to the friendly government and people of Japan.

This year’s anniversary is special since it is being celebrated as we inch towards the outset of the culmination of an exciting and colourful yearlong festivities (September 12,2007 to September 11,2008) of our New Millennium and at a time when, once again, an important milestone has been achieved in the democratisation and good governance sphere in our country.

Ethiopians has been colourfully celebrating their New Millennium throughout the country and abroad with a great sense of commitment to eradicate poverty and reaffirm their country’s ‘New Renaissance’ with the added resolve of developing it in unison.

With the country having developed a clear and achievable vision, we are witnessing results that our vision can be attained. By sustaining and intensifying these results we will realize our vision in the early years of our New Millennium. What gives me hope is the impressive rapid economic growth that has been taking place in the country for the last decade and more so in the last five consecutive years.

In the democratisation and good governance domain, the third local and by-elections, where the people turned out en masse to elect their representatives as enshrined in the constitution, were held democratically and successfully reaffirming that the democratisation process in our country is on a strong footing and is based on the active participation of the public.

During the year leading up to this important anniversary numerous trade, investment and cultural activities were held. Our coffee and cut flower (roses) business in Japan flourished. It is encouraging to see the increase in the number of new companies showing interest in our world famous coffee. Ethiopian flowers, especially roses are becoming an instant export attraction in Japan since 2006. The JETRO East Africa Cut Flower Project has played a significant role in introducing Ethiopian roses to Japan by helping in displaying them at IFEX (International Flower Expo) 2006 and 2007. Last year in 2007, about 4.8 million stems of Ethiopian roses were imported to Japan and in the first three months of 2008 the number stood at 2.4 million stems. This is indeed encouraging, considering the first consignment of Ethiopian roses began arriving in Japan in the third quarter of 2006.

On the investment side, Hanamasa Co., Ltd. in joint venture with Ethiopian Coffee Exporter Alfoz plc. opened a coffee roasting and packing factory in Ethiopia and began marketing its product in Japan this March. I am hopeful that this collaborative effort will open the door wide for further Japanese investment in Ethiopia. On this auspicious occasion I call upon Japanese investors to benefit from the multitude of incentives in the areas of agro processing, manufacturing, construction etc…

This year school visits to Sugeta and Tobe elementary schools and lectures at Waseda and United Nations Universities and meetings with students and staff of the Department of International Relations at Kyushu International University and others has enabled us to introduce a variety of Ethiopian topics including Ethiopian Millennium, history, cultural and natural tourist attractions, Ethiopian Coffee and the Coffee Trade marking and Licensing Initiative, the role of agriculture in poverty eradication in Ethiopia among others. The meticulous presentation by Tobe elementary school students to the audience at the Africa Festa 2008 in Yokohama about Ethiopia attests to the interest that this interaction has garnered.

The relationship between Ethiopia and Japan is laid on a strong foundation of mutual respect and understanding and our Prime Minister H. E Meles Zenawi’s visit to Japan to attend TICAD IV in Yokohama at the end of May and G-8 Summit in Hokkaido Toyako in early July will further strengthen and deepen the overall cooperation and friendly relationship between our two countries.

Ethiopia believes that the TICAD process has greatly contributed to the advancement of the relationship between Japan and Africa. As today is the beginning of TICAD IV conference in Yokohama, with a befitting motto of “Vibrant Africa”, where African leaders including our Prime Minister and The Japanese Government and co-organizers are deliberating on issues of mutual cooperation that are of great importance to African Development, it is my ardent belief that the outcome of this deliberations will be successfully sealed in the attainment of an increased cooperation on investment, tourism and in the multitude of priority areas of TICAD IV.

On this important occasion, I want to acknowledge the magnificent role played by the Japan-Ethiopia Parliamentary Committee, Ethiopia Association of Japan, Mocha Ethiopia Dance Group, other friends of Ethiopia and my compatriots, the Ethiopia Community of Japan, in the deepening of the relationship between the two countries and their peoples.

Finally, I would like to thank Japan Times and the sponsors of this special page – Marubeni Corporation, Brooks Co., Ltd., Queen Sheba Restaurant and Eagle Shipping Japan, Ltd. – for giving me this opportunity to address the esteemed readers of this great newspaper.

Thank you.


H.E. Mr. Asahiko Mihara Chairman, Ethiopia Committee, Japan – AU Parliamentary Friendship League

三原 朝彦氏 日本・AU議員連盟、エチオピア委員会・委員長

H.E. Mr. Asahiko Mihara
Chairman, Ethiopia Committee,
Japan – AU Parliamentary
Friendship League

Today Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is visiting Japan to attend the TICAD IV meeting in Yokohama on May 28 and 29.
On behalf of the Ethiopia Committee of the Japan-AU Parliamentary F r i e n d s h i p League, I would like to extend my heartfelt greetings and congratulations to the government and people of Ethiopia on the occasion of the 17th anniversary of their National Day, and the auspicious occasion of the prime minister’s visit to Japan.
We in the Japan-AU Parliamentary Friendship League would like to express our deepest gratitude to the prime minister for finding time in his tight schedule to hold a meeting with us.
We hope that the summit between Prime Minister Zenawi and Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda will further develop our friendly relations.
I started a personal relationship with Ethiopia more than 30 years ago. When I was a student in the U.S., I decided to go to Africa for my research and participated in the JICA Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers program that was in Ethiopia for a global smallpox eradication campaign led by the World Health Organization.
I believe that it was fate that I should meet with Ethiopia.
I have visited Ethiopia only once since then, but my interest continues. I respect the country, its beautiful nature and pure-hearted people.
Japan wishes the best to Ethiopia on this special occasion, and assures the nation of its support for its peace and stability. The headquarters of the African Union is in Ethiopia, which has a long history and tradition that I admire.
Finally, I appreciate the strong leadership role Ethiopia is playing in Africa.


梅田貞夫 社団法人日本エチオピア協会会長

梅田貞夫氏 社団法人 日本エチオピア協会 会長

Dr. Sadao Umeda
President of The Ethiopian Association of Japan.

On behalf of the Ethiopian Association of Japan, I wish to extend our sincere compliments and congratulations to the people and Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia on this memorable occasion of the 17th Anniversary of Ethiopian National Day.

Last year, I had literally a once in a lifetime opportunity to attend the celebration of “Ethiopian Millennium in Japan” held on 9th September, 3 days ahead of the Millennium New Year Day in Ethiopia. Thanks to the Millennium Committee headed by His Excellency Ambassador Mr. Abdirashid Dulane of Ethiopia, Association members, as well as volunteers from both countries, the well prepared seminars, exhibitions and events in commemoration of the beginning of the new centennial year attracted larger audiences than expected. Highlighted among many intriguing and enjoyable programs were Ethiopian dance performed by the Mocha Ethiopia Dance Group and Japanese folk dance of Awaodori demonstrated by the Kusunoki-Ren volunteers of Ohta Ward Office in Tokyo. Ethiopian-Japanese joint dancing climaxed the ceremony night.

At the onset of this auspicious millennium year, it is wonderful to hear that Ethiopia has registered 10% ± in the GDP growth rate for the last 5 consecutive years, according to His Excellency Mr.Mekonnen Manyazewal, State Minister for Finance and Economic Development, with whom our Board members had a breakfast meeting during his recent visit to Japan.

This year, 2008, marks Japan-Africa Exchange Year. This day, the 28th of May, coincides with the opening of TICAD IV for a 3 day conference in Yokohama, Japan. High-ranking representatives from many African countries and international organizations as well as from private sectors will attend to meet and cooperate together towards “ a Vibrant Africa”. The Japanese delegation, as host, will propose three perspective priorities to the participants; “Boosting Economic Growth”, “Ensuring Human Security” and “Addressing Environmental Issue/Climate Change”, in order to enhance positive changes on both the political and economic fronts in Africa by mobilizing the knowledge and resources of the international community. In this context, it was my honor and pleasure that I was appointed a member of the private sector Council for TICAD IV Policy Proposals, whose recommendations were submitted to the Government of Japan.

In July, the G8 Toyako Summit will be held in Hokkaido, Japan. I am particularly happy to hear that it is agreed among the member nations that African issues should be addressed in the meeting with the presence of some invited African leaders including Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

I am confident that mutual ties of our two countries will be further cemented through these occasions both on the government level and on the level of people to people exchanges as illustrated by business and civil organizations like our Association. We are proud of our 37 year history in such activities since our foundation in 1971. This Association will continue its endeavors to promote friendship and goodwill as a reliable catalyst of economic, academic and cultural ties between Japan and Ethiopia, and thus contribute to world peace.

In closing, I would like to express heartily my best wishes for every success, progress and prosperity of Ethiopia and its people.