High Representative Valentin Inzko paid a visit to Tokyo where he met with senior officials of the Japanese Foreign Ministry, including Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kenji Yamada, Special Envoy for the Western Balkans, Ambassador Jun Saito, and Director of the Central and South-Eastern Europe Division, Kotaro Otsuki. The High Representative also delivered a lecture at the Sophia University in Tokyo.
At the meetings, where the main focus was the current political situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, High Representative Inzko and his interlocutors underscored the importance of formation of authorities as soon as possible, following the October 2018 general elections, and also expressed concern about various outstanding issues such as rule of law, good governance and emigration.
High Representative Inzko commended the role of Japan as one of the largest donors to Bosnia and Herzegovina in its post-war recovery efforts. He thanked the Government of Japan for its generous support, but also its strong commitment towards the Office of the High Representative and towards the efforts of the international community to help Bosnia and Herzegovina become a stable, fully democratic and prosperous country.
Parliamentary Vice-Minister Yamada, Ambassador Saito and Director Otsuki, reiterated Japan’s continued commitment and support to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s development, as well as to the Office of the High Representative, whose role remains crucial until Bosnia and Herzegovina achieves irreversible stability which will enable it to graduate from international supervision.
At the Sophia University, the High Representative talked about Japan’s contributions to Bosnia and Herzegovina in its post-war recovery efforts and how it helped the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina in ways that would not be possible by financial assistance alone. “Japan has been able to make an effective contribution to reconstruction and reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, not simply because it has been able to provide resources, but also because it has acted with an insight, based on its own experience of post-conflict recovery and reconciliation, and based on its own particular cultural attributes,” said Inzko. The High Representative also emphasized the importance of being able to live together in harmony: “Nobody should give up their identity, but people should be able to live together; otherwise, this would be a defeat for humanity.”