Japan reiterates importance of resolving Sahara conflict, calls for peaceful negotiations

Kuramitsu Hideaki, the Japanese ambassador in Rabat, congratulated King Mohammed VI on his twenty-fourth enthronement anniversary and underlined Japan’s position on the Western Sahara crisis. The envoy highlighted the importance of reaching a “prompt and peaceful resolution” to the matter through talks between the parties involved under the auspices of the United Nations.

In the letter published on July 30, Japan also stated its support for the mediation efforts being led by the UN Secretary-General and his Special Representative for Western Sahara, Mr. Staffan de Mistura.

“We take note of the Moroccan proposal presented on 11 April 2007 to the Secretary-General and welcome serious and credible Moroccan efforts to move the process forward towards the resolution of this issue, as expressed in the relevant Security Council Resolutions, including 1754 (2007),” stated the letter shared on the Japanese embassy’s official page.

The stability of Morocco has benefited Morocco’s economy, which has grown significantly in recent years.

With over 70 enterprises operating there, Japanese companies currently employ the bulk of the private sector workers in Morocco.

The two countries have developed cordial relations, and Japan wants to extend the already strong economic ties between them by expanding bilateral cooperation in a number of areas, including politics, social issues, and culture.

Since Morocco’s independence in 1956, there have been regular encounters between Japan and Morocco at all levels, including those involving the Imperial and Royal Families.

Noteworthy moments in the history of both nations include Crown Prince Naruhito’s visit to Morocco in 1991 and King Mohammed VI’s state visit to Japan in November 2005.

The trade volume between Japan and Morocco continues to surge, starting with marine merchandise and expanding to encompass all industries.

Diverse fields like economics, trade, science, technology, culture, and education have benefited from this expansion.

Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated in its most recent annual report on February 20, 2022, that the Asian nation is interested in developing economic ties with Morocco and that it is working to do so.

At the 8th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), which took place in Tunisia on August 27 and 28, the separatists of the “Polisario” were criticized and Japan expressed its disapproval.

Back in September 2022, Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi reiterated his country’s position that does not recognize the Sahara as a state, expressing regret over Morocco’s absence from the 8th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD).

Amrani Boukhbza, a specialist in international relations, affirms that with Japan joining the “international tide supporting the autonomy plan,” Morocco will have gained more support from superpowers like the United States and the majority of European nations.

The same source claims that “the message of the Japanese ambassador carries political awareness of the reality of the fabricated Sahara conflict, as well as the importance of moving in the direction of the international tide, similar to the United States of America, and the rest of the European countries, which consider Moroccan efforts serious and realistic.”

Hicham Moatadid emphasized that “Japan’s diplomatic voice, its geopolitical position, in addition to its political dynamism at the level of its regional map, especially in international organizations, is an important factor, and a qualitative and vital addition to the dynamism that Morocco is managing regarding the Sahara file.”

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