PESHAWAR: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan on Tuesday announced to award the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendations 2019 to Dr. Ghazala Irfan, President of the Pakistan-Japan Cultural Association (PJCA) Lahore and MEXT Alumni Association of Pakistan (MAAP) in recognition of their significant contributions towards the promotion of cultural and educational relations between Japan and Pakistan.

Every year, the Foreign Minister’s Commendations are awarded to individuals and groups with outstanding achievements in international fields, to acknowledge their contributions to the promotion of friendship between Japan and other countries and areas, says a press release. The Commendations also aim to promote the understanding and support of the Japanese public for the activities of the recipients.

Dr. Ghazala Irfan, President PJCA Lahore, has worked selflessly and with full dedication to promote Japan-Pakistan cultural relations and the Government of Japan greatly values her services in this regard. The association has played an essential role and it has acted as a bridge of friendship and goodwill between the two countries. MEXT Alumni Association of Pakistan, association of Pakistani alumni’s of Japanese universities, has been awarded Commendation for promoting the educational linkages between Japan and Pakistan as an organization.

Kuninori Matsuda, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan, congratulated the Pakistani recipients of Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation for this year. This prestigious Commendation is the acknowledgement of the recipient’s efforts and dedication towards enhanced people-to-people interaction. Cultural and educational exchanges are the basis to further strengthen Japan-Pakistan relations, said Ambassador Matsuda.

The Commendations conferment ceremony will be held later this year at the official residence of the ambassador where he will present the Commendations to the respective recipients on behalf of the minister for foreign affairs of Japan.

Last month, the ambassador of Japan said that Japan and Pakistan enjoyed long relations of friendship and goodwill over the last seven decades. The ambassador and his wife, Naoko Matsuda, on June 20 hosted a reception in Islamabad to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the Japan Self-Defence Forces Day.

Kuninori Matsuda emphasised the need for further collaboration between Pakistan and Japan. He said Japan and Pakistan enjoyed long relations of friendship and goodwill over the last seven decades.

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