The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has called for the deepening of the existing bilateral relations between Nigeria and Japan.
Gbajabiamila’s call was contained in a statement by his special adviser on media and publicity, Lanre Lasisi on Wednesday.
While receiving the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Amb. Matsunaga Kazuyoshi, during a courtesy visit to his office on Wednesday, the Speaker noted that the House of Representatives was also desirous of sustaining the existing robust parliamentary engagements with the Japanese Parliament.
Noting that both countries had greatly benefitted from their 61 years of friendship in several areas of the economy, including technology, education, Gbajabiamila added, “with our 61st years of relationships, to me, it’s a rebirth of a new phase. Japan and Nigeria have longstanding ties, 61 years and counting as we lean on each other in many areas of the economy, technology and many others.”
Gbajabiamila recalled his official visit to Japan two years ago, which he said was one with several landmark accomplishments, notwithstanding the inability to follow up on some issues due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It was a visit we will not forget in a hurry because it was of mutual benefits to both parties”, the Speaker added, while noting that the relaxation of travel restrictions would allow the deployment of Parliamentary Diplomacy by the House through the Nigeria-Japan Parliamentary Friendship Group to consolidate on the gains of his first visit to Japan.
“We are now looking forward to that new phase, the Parliamentary Friendship group will be working closely with you.
“Japan is a major player and we are a growing democracy and we will be working with you in so many areas and through our Parliamentary Diplomacy, we intend to take it to another level in a way it will benefit Nigeria and whoever we are in a parliamentary diplomatic relationship with”, he added.
Earlier, Ambassador Kazuyoshi assured the Speaker that Japan was determined to deepen the 61 years of bilateral relations with Nigeria.
He noted that despite the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, Japan was able to deploy Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to boost its economic and commercial activities in Nigeria.
He cited the instance of the $3m Japan invested in startups online in Nigeria in the period of the pandemic.