Japan to open representative office in Erbil next year

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Japan will open a representative office in Erbil next year, the country’s new ambassador to Iraq said on a visit to the Kurdish capital on Monday.

Ambassador Fumio Iwai met in Erbil with Falah Mustafa Bakir, minister of foreign relations in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

Bakir thanked Japan for its crucial role in alleviating the suffering of refugees and displaced people in the Kurdistan Region and called for continued humanitarian, according to a press release by the Kurdish Department of Foreign Relations (DFR).

Iwai referred to the economic and political developments in the Kurdistan Region during the last decade, and stressed that Tokyo will open a representation office in the Kurdistan Region next year, it said.

Bakir welcomed the initiative, it reported, expressing hope for further economic, political, cultural and educational exchanges between Kurdistan and Japan.

Iwai commended the KRG for its humanitarian response to war refugees from Syria and other parts of Iraq, numbering nearly 2 million. He reiterated Japan’s commitment to continued humanitarian assistance to Iraq and Kurdistan.

The ambassador also praised the role of Peshmerga forces in the fight against ISIS and congratulated the people of Kurdistan and Yezidi Kurds on the liberation of Shingal.

Bakir called on Japan and the rest of the international community to assist the KRG rebuild Shingal, which has been more than half destroyed by fighting.

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