Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi reiterated, Friday, 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). In a statement issued by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs following the talks by videoconference that Mr. Hayashihad with Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Abroad, Nasser Bourita, the head of Japanese diplomacy stressed that his country’s position, which does not recognize the Sahara as a state, remains “unchanged” and was clearly expressed during the TICAD 8 summit. He also expressed regret that Morocco did not participate in TICAD 8, according to the same source. The two FMs stressed that TICAD is an important forum to discuss development in Africa and that the two countries will continue their cooperation to achieve this goal, the Japanese Foreign Ministry underlined. A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Abroad said that the Japanese FM reiterated his country’s regret regarding the absence of Morocco, which he described as an “essential partner.” He again confirmed that Japan did not invite the puppet entity to the TICAD VIII Summit and called on Tunisia to take all necessary measures in this regard. This “unequivocal” position was reiterated at the press conference he held in Tokyo, the Japanese FM said. Renewing his thanks for Morocco’s understanding of Japan’s position, Mr. Hayashi expressed his country’s keenness to continue working with Morocco within the framework of TICAD. For his part, Mr. Bourita recalled that TICAD is a forum for partnership and development that must be protected from political maneuvers hatched by some known parties, paying tribute to the firm and consistent position shown by the Japanese delegation in Tunis.
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