Islamabad: 7th December, 2007


Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan H.E. Mr. Seiji Kojima and Mrs. Tami Kojima will host a reception on 7th December, 2007 to celebrate the Birthday of His Majesty Emperor Akihito, the125th Emperor of Japan, who will be 74 years old on 23rd December, 2007. H.E. RAJA TRIDIV ROY, Minister of Minorities, will be the chief guest on the occasion. The reception will be attended by the ministers, parliamentarians, senior government officials, Pakistani military officials, members of the diplomatic community and other dignitaries from the public and private sectors.


Mr. Seiji Kojima, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan, along with the chief guest will cut a cake and the national anthems of both countries will be played on the occasion.


On the auspicious occasion of the Emperorís birthday, Mr. Seiji Kojima, Ambassador of Japan, in his message, will extend on behalf of the leadership and the people of Japan his sincere appreciation and gratitude to the leadership and the people of Pakistan for their messages of felicitations and celebrations.


The Imperial Household of Japan is a very old lineage in the world, dating more than 2000 years back, since the foundation of the first Emperor Jimmu in 660 B.C. according to Japanís oldest history book named Nihonshoki. Today, under Japanís postwar constitution, the Emperor is featured as a symbol of the nation, embodying the unity of its people. His Majesty Emperor Akihito was born in Tokyo on 23rd December, 1933 as the first son of the late Emperor Hirohito (Showa). 23rd December is celebrated as a national holiday in Japan. A chrysanthemum is the symbolic plant of the royal family as often called The Chrysanthemum Throne. The Era of His Majesty Emperor Akihitoís reign is called Heisei. In the Japanese calendar, the year 2007 matches Heisei 19, or the 19th year since His Majesty Emperor Akihito acceded to the throne as the 125th Emperor in January 1989.


            Japan and South Asia have had a long-time relationship through the ancient exchange route of Silk Road. Buddhism in Japan came all the way from this region via China and Korea in the 6th century. Japan and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan have enjoyed very close and cordial relations since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1952. His Majesty Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko paid a visit to Pakistan in January 1962 as then Crown Prince and Crown Princess. In November 1992, Prince Akishino, the second son of His Majesty Emperor Akihito, paid a visit to Pakistan together with his wife, Princess Kiko.

In 2005, both Japan and Pakistan witnessed the exchanges of visits by the leaders of the two countries. H.E. Mr. Junichiro Koizumi, then Prime Minister of Japan, visited Pakistan in April 2005, where the two leaders of both countries reaffirmed their strong commitment to the peace, security, the war against terrorism and prosperity for the future of Asia. (End)