Japan, Pakistan beginning new era of closer ties, says envoy

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Salahuddin Haider

Karachi

Japan and Pakistan are beginning a new era of closer ties with the change in visa regime, and also English has been made a street language in his country, said the Japanese ambassador Kuninori (Matz) Matsuda, speaking at the periodical meeting of English Speaking Union of Pakistan here Wednesday afternoon. Under a new English was taught as subject from 8th grade so that school boys of 12/13 years could learn the langaue, but now they learn it from 6th grade as kids.
So, anyone including Pakistanis, will no more be confronted with language problem, because English is now a street language, he stated. Relying on history, he said, Pakistan was recognized by Japan as independent State in 1951, and in established diplomatic relations a year later. Since then their cooperation from Royalty to political leadership, economic, trade and investment have been developing, but much was required to forge deeper ties. He said the Royal couple, late Emperor and Empress of his country visited Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi in 1962, but prior to that Japanese foreign minister had already been to Pakistn in 1957.
Their visited sowed seeds of warmer ties, which have come to fruition now. Pakistani mangoes, outcompeted Malaysian and Philipino fruit because of their colour and taste, and today Pakistani mangoes are a delight for fruit lovers.
He said Karachi, being a great city, occupied fifth position for Japanese Investment, and even before diplomatic tis, Japanese companies were here with their products. Now automobile sector, grants, investment, in automobile, education and agriculture sectors, Pakistan has a special place.
In fact he said his grand parents and their wards came to Karachi for cotton trade, which even today, can benefit immensely by upgrading from Japanese textiles and help push up Pak exports to Europe, Central Asian Republics through Afghanistan, and other countries, As for visa regime, it is being eased for trade and industry, and chambers of commerce and industries in main Pakistani cities of Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad, Islamabad etc, can with the help of trade organisations, can visit Japan for business to business (B 2 B) meetings.