By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja

Japan has said it will continue to explore areas where it can maximize support to Nigeria towards addressing COVID-19 challenges.

The new Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Matsunaga Kazuyoshi, gave the assurance while briefing journalists in Abuja on Thursday.

The Envoy, who highlighted some of the milestones attained since the establishment of Japan – Nigeria diplomatic relations 60 years ago, stated that his country would continue to support the efforts of the Federal Government to strengthen the medical and health sectors.

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

“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,’’ Kazuyoshi said.

He also said that the relations between the two countries could only get stronger and expand into new fields. According to him, a project funded by the Government of Japan was recently launched to increase oxygen supply and expand vaccine storage capacity in Nigeria.

Kazuyoshi said Nigeria had the potential to grow dramatically by actively adopting the latest technology.

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“We are interested in strengthening diplomatic activities utilizing IT, in pursuing economic growth and in solving social problems through technological innovations. Under these circumstances, 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,’’ he explained.

While lauding Nigerian players for their contribution to the development of the Japanese Football League, J-League, the Ambassador said his interest in Nigeria stemmed from the fact that the first non-Japanese person that he had contact with as a five-year-old was a Nigerian.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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