Japanese ambassador to Kabul travels to Kandahar, meets local officials

Japanese Ambassador to Kabul Takashi Okada for the first time since the IEA’s takeover in August 2021, traveled on Monday to Kandahar province and met with local officials and a number of traders in the province.

At the meeting, Okada considered the facility for issuing visas to Afghan businessmen as an important issue and said that Japan is interested in starting development projects in Afghanistan and wants to expand its relations with this country.

“On the visa issue, I realize that it is a really big issue for the Afghan business people, so we will convey and request to Tokyo. The problem is that for the security issues and for the political issues, the Japanese embassy in Kabul is not functioning at its full capacity, we are functioning in a limited manner, so the visa section is closed right now,” said Okada.

“And also, the general relationship between our government and the de facto also needs to improve as well,” he added.

At the meeting, Mohammad Yunus Mohmand, deputy head of Chamber of Commerce and Investment also said that economic cooperation should expand between the two nations and said that there should be facilitation in issuing visas for Afghan traders.

“The first step for us to have business relations with a country is visa,” said Mohmand.

“The demand of all businessmen is that they need visas.”

In addition, Mohmand still believes that the way out of the country’s economic problems is the recognition of the Islamic Emirate by the international community.

“You know better that Afghanistan has not been recognized so far and this is a challenge for us. We call on the world to recognize Afghanistan,” he added.

The local officials of Kandahar also demanded the implementation of development projects in the province and said that Kabul wants to expand relations with all countries of the world, including Japan.

Although the Japanese embassy is active in Afghanistan, this country, like other countries, has refused to interact officially with IEA.