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Japan will assist Nigeria in tackling COVID-19 challenges, says envoy

The Japanese ambassador to Nigeria, Matsunaga Kazuyoshi has stated that his country will assist in tackling COVID-19 challenges in Nigeria.

Kazuyoshi who arrived in Nigeria on May 15 stated that Japan would cooperate with the federal government in the health sector.

According to Kazuyoshi, 2020 marked the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Japan-Nigeria diplomatic relations and expressed confidence that the ties between the two countries could only get stronger and would expand into new fields.

“Nigerians have also been highly affected by restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic and face various inconveniences,” he said.

“Foremost, I will like to express my deepest condolences to the bereaved families and to extend my heartfelt sympathies to all the affected people.

“One of my priorities would therefore be to address the various challenges in the medical and health sectors, including the response to COVID-19, through the cooperation between Japan and Nigeria.’’

He noted that a grant aid project, funded by the government of Japan, was launched in April 2021 to increase oxygen supply and expand vaccine storage capacity through an international organisation.

He added that Nigeria has the potential to grow through leapfrog-type development by actively adopting the latest technology.

He said: “I joined the ministry of foreign affairs of Japan as an IT Expert. Therefore, I am interested in strengthening diplomatic activities using IT in pursuing economic growth and in solving social problems through technological innovations.

“Under these circumstances, DX (digital transformation) can facilitate people-to-people ties by bridging psychological distances.

“It promotes virtual exchanges and deepens mutual understanding not only in political and business fields but also in fields such as sports, culture, medical care and education.”

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