Karachiites enjoy Japanese cultural activities in City

KARACHI - The Consul General of Japan Akinori Wada is an elegantly smart man. His family name 'Wada means 'Promise in Urdu and with a promise he has come to the city with the hope that it is blessed with peace and tranquillity that it once talked about. Wada arrived in Karachi, along with his wife Fumiko in April last year. He has two grown-up children; both are well settled in their respective lives and reside in Tokyo. Akinori Wada was born in Osaka, Japan in 1946. After graduating from the Hokkaido University of Education, Wada entered the Japan Ground Self Defence Force in 1969. During his assignment in the Forces, he had a chance to work for Japanese Embassy in Kenya from 1979 to 1982. He had tow dreams in life, first was to visit various countries, meet different people and eat a variety of food; second, was a firm desire to contribute to the duty and to secure the safety of Japanese citizens who travel abroad and work there. Hence, he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1985 to realise his dreams and have been previously stationed in New York and Los Angeles in the United States and in the Far Eastern countries of Indonesia and East Timor. About Pak-Japan economic ties and bi-lateral trade relations, Wada said, To prove the long-standing friendship with Pakistan, the Government of Japan has extended its economic assistance towards Pakistan in various areas of development in the form of Official Development Assistance (ODA) which consists of loan aid, grant aid and technical co-operation. The amount of Japans ODA for Pakistan has reached more than $10 billion. On a firmer ground, Japan has pledged $ 1 billion to Pakistan, at the Friends of Pakistan Donor Conference held in Tokyo in 2009 and in more recent times Japan has extended $ 33.5 million for IDPs. As far as the trade ties go, the trade between Pakistan and Japan has greatly expanded since after 2001. In 2008, the trade between the two countries amounted to $ 1.9 billion. Japans export to Pakistan is $ 1.5 billion, while import from Pakistan is merely $ 0.4 billion. Japans major import composition from Pakistan has changed from cotton yarn to petroleum products. Japans major export items to Pakistan have been automobiles, its parts and machinery. But as the Consul General rightly asserted that, There is an imbalance of trade between the two countries, two basic problem remain the facts of the day, one on being the wide gap between what Pakistan can export and what Japan needs to import and the other is the fact that due to recent economic development of other Asian countries which are located at relatively closer distance to Japan, than Pakistan, we get commodity and goods from these countries. So what about the scholarship programs that the government of Japan provides, Wada says, 'JET Scholarship, this program is being operated by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, (MEXT). The Embassy of Japan in Islamabad looks after this scholarship program. Japan has progressed greatly ahead as far as innovation and information technology is concerned, since WWII, Japanese people contributed by working very hard and secondly for they had respect for education for the youth. Japans education system has been well regulated since Meiji Restoration in 1868. Nearly hundred percent of children enjoy the benefits of nine years of compulsory education. Japan can certainly boost about the skilled manpower, which is the human resource that has developed Japan to this great extent, in the field of innovation and technology. About the situation of media in Japan is concerned, Wada said, Media in Japan plays a very important source of information. Japan has five nationwide newspapers, top five being Yomiuri, Asahi, Mainichi, Nikkei and Sakei. So far as television is concerned, there are six nationwide TV Stations including NHK, which is a public broadcasting TV Station. Internet is too becoming an important source of information, resulting in the fact that every Japanese family has at least one computer at home. Ask from Wada, about Karachi and his eyes sparkle; In Karachi there are a lot of Pakistani citizens who show keen interest in Japanese culture. I have been surprised to know that many Pakistanis have really enjoyed practicing Ikebana (flower arrangement), potted Bonsai and learnt Karate (the Japanese traditional marshal art). On a final note, he says that he tremendously enjoys his life in Karachiexcept for the unbearable hot weather but gets a lot of leisure time at his disposal, I talk to my wife in Karachi, far more than I can in Japan where I am very busy person. I get the time to watch movies on DVD in the evening and play golf on weekends.

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