Doha, 14 May 2020, (Qatar Tribune)
By Ashraf Siddiqui
THE Ambassador of Japan to Qatar HE Kazuo Sunaga has thanked Qatar Airways (QA) and its Group Chief Executive Officer Akbar al Baker for continued support and cooperation, and for facilitating smooth return of stranded Japanese nationals from all over the world amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Talking to Qatar Tribune, the Japanese ambassador said that Qatar Airways continues to operate its flights to Narita Airport in Japan.
The ambassador said the Foreign Minister of Japan, Motegi Toshimitsu, has also appreciated the cooperation of Qatar Airways, during his recent telephonic conversation with his Qatari counterpart HE Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdulrahman al Thani.
Responding to a query regarding cooperation between Qatar and Japan in combating COVID-19, the Japanese envoy said the Government of Japan is cooperating with different countries, including Qatar, in medical research to tackle the deadly virus. Sunaga said the COVID-19 pandemic calls for global exchange of experience and latest information with regard to research.
The ambassador said that COVID-19 has changed everyone’s routine including his. “My daily routine has changed in many ways since the outbreak of the coronavirus. I am following the new guidelines and preventive measures to curb the spread of the virus. We have put in place remote working system at our embassy in Doha. Besides, I am observing social distancing rules in my private life as well.”
The ambassador said he relies more on technology to carry out his official responsibilities, and he has become more tech-friendly now than in the past.
Sunaga said the positive aspects of COVID-19 are that people have become more hygiene-conscious and more understanding towards the smaller, but important issues of the daily life. The Embassy of Japan and the Japanese community in Qatar will remain committed to following the various instructions and guidelines issued by the Qatari government to prevent spread of COVID-19, he said.
Qatar and Japan enjoy excellent bilateral diplomatic and economic relations. Japan’s Embassy has various social-cultural events in the pipeline to mark the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Qatar and Japan in 2021.