Department of Foreign Relations
Kurdistan Regional Government
THU, 21 MAR 2019 15:34 Erbil, GMT +3
Source: KRG-DFR DFR publication date: WED, 19 DEC 2018 11:02
A Statement delivered by the Head of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Department of Foreign Relations (DFR), Minister Falah Mustafa on the occasion of the birthday celebration of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan - 18 December, 2018


Ministers, Members of Parliament, Governors,
Representatives of Political Parties,
The Ambassador of Japan to Iraq, Mr. Naofumi Hashimoto,
Head of the Consular Office of Japan, Mr. Katsumi Moriyasu,
Dean and Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Japanese Friends and Friends of Japan,
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good evening to you all.

I am very happy to be here this evening to celebrate the 85th birthday of 125th Emperor of Japan, His Majesty Emperor Akihito. I would like to thank the Ambassador of Japan in Iraq, and the Head of the Consular Office in Kurdistan for hosting such a friendly and welcoming birthday celebration!

It is a pleasure to attend this celebration as it serves to remind us that we are united through our desire to celebrate life’s milestones and achievements.

On behalf of the KRG, I would like to thank Japan for the attention and commitment it has shown to Kurdistan throughout the years.

In 2008 Japan nominated its Honorary Consul in Erbil. Presently, we enjoy having the active presence of the Consular Office of Japan in Erbil. We have also had the honor of welcoming highly esteemed Japanese officials, such as Japan’s Former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, who now serves as the Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister of Japan.

Significant contributions have been made to augment relations between Japan and Kurdistan. We are also fortunate to benefit from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). JICA plays an indispensable role in supporting developing countries through regional initiatives such as its water supply improvement and sewerage construction projects.

Japan has also provided assistance through UNDP in the form of institutionalization of capacity building for crisis management. This focused on developing know-how, drafting framework for action, providing IT equipment and strengthening human resources development.

We also benefit from the assistance of other Japanese institutions and NGOs, such as Peace Winds Japan that has been here since the 1990s. They have helped to alleviate the suffering of many IDPs and refugees residing in Kurdistan. We all appreciate the value of Japan’s friendship and cooperation.

I would like to take a moment to share with you my favourite Japanese proverb: “friends are known first in hardship, a friend is known in adversity, like gold is known in fire”. This has never been truer or more compelling than in recent years.

Despite the hurdles and the obstacles that we have faced, Kurdistan has not walked alone in darkness. The efforts of Japan to provide assistance to Kurdistan in the sectors of electricity, water, hydropower and horticulture should not be overlooked.

A country that is committed to bettering the circumstances of its peers is one that values the importance of fostering stability and contributing to global security and peace. I would also like to thank the people and government of Japan for providing critical humanitarian assistance to IDPs and refugees in times of great need.


There are lessons for us in Japan’s remarkable recovery after the devastation of the Second World War. Having been the victim of war and seen its major cities devastated, Japan embarked on what was to be known as the Economic Miracle.

Through the decades, Japan has spearheaded innovation and technological advancement.
This is despite the fact that Japan suffered a great deal. Blazing trails in areas of recycling, transport, and android robots!

Japan has given the world many wonderful things to admire and to enjoy, such as Sushi, Sony and the tea ceremony. I am truly excited to see what new initiatives Japan will introduce in the near future!

However, perhaps what I have come to admire most in Japanese culture is the express emphasis of manners before knowledge. Japan values the principle of respect for others, the good of the community over oneself, and the sense of pride in one’s work no matter how high or low the rank or job.

Cultural respect and education play a fundamental role in Japanese society. This is ingrained in Japanese schools where teachers and children share the responsibility of cleaning their classroom.

Thus, these qualities shape the Japanese community and its progression. These principles and values have been shared with us. Our Japanese partners have generously renovated 107 schools in Kurdistan since 2003.

Much like the Japanese, the people of Kurdistan are also hospitable and place great importance on respect. Kurdistan equally appreciates the decisive influence of education and youth empowerment when investing in its future.

We remain committed to developing and implementing innovative reform to improve lives and livelihoods. We continue to make significant progress on this. So that we may learn from yesterday, live for today, and hope for a better tomorrow.

Next year we celebrate the 80th Anniversary of Japan-Iraq diplomatic relations, we aspire to further expand our ties. We have learned, now more than ever, the significant and positive impact of forging strong bonds with Japan.

We are determined to maintain this momentum. We wish the government and the people of Japan continued success and good fortune. I hope that you all enjoy this wonderful event, and I wish His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of Japan a happy birthday.

Head of DFR, Minister Falah Mustafa receives Turkish Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
SUN, 17 MAR 2019 16:35

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq ( – Head of KRG Department of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa received a high-level Turkish delegation led by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sedat Önal on 13th March 2019 and discussed bilateral developments and manifold of issues including Erbil-Baghdad ties and the process of  forming a new KRG cabinet.

New Korean Consul General assumes office in the Kurdistan Region
TUE, 12 MAR 2019 22:26

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq ( – Head of KRG Department of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa received the newly appointed Consul General of the Republic of Korea to the Kurdistan Region, CHOI Kwang Jin on 10th March 2019.

Head of DFR welcomes the new Consul General of the Russian Federation in the Kurdistan Region
TUE, 12 MAR 2019 22:14

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq ( – The new Consul General of the Russian Federation to the Kurdistan Region, Oleg Levin visited the KRG Department of Foreign Relations and were received by the Head of DFR, Minister Falah Mustafa on the occasion of his appointment of office in Erbil on 10th March 2019.




KRG UK Representative participates in a panel session on a range of issues including the political, security and economic developments in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq hosts by APPG Kurdistan

MON, 18 MAR 2019 21:08

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq ( – The Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Kurdistan Region, Mr Jack Lopresti MP held a parliamentary briefing for the Kurdistan High Representative to the United Kingdom, Karwan Jamal Tahir, and Iraqi Deputy Ambassador to the UK, Nazar Mirjan with the Minister of State for International Development and Minister of State for the Middle East at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP to address the members of UK Parliament on a broad range of matters, including the political, security and economic developments in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.


KRG UK Representation and KMP launch Kurdistan Memory Programme and Commemorate the Kurdish Genocides and chemical attack on Halabja at BAFTA

MON, 18 MAR 2019 20:14

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq ( – British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) at the heart of London’s West End became home to the launching of the Kurdistan Memory Programme (KMP) and screening of the UK premiere documentary film ‘One Yazidi Family vs. ISIS’, directed and produced by Gwynne Roberts following its debut screening at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

A delegation from the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea (IMELS) visits DFR

MON, 18 MAR 2019 20:06

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq ( – A delegation from the Consulate of the Republic of Italy and the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea (IMELS) visited the Department of Foreign Relations (DFR) of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and were received by the Head of DFR, Minister Falah Mustafa on 17 March 2019.


Head of DFR, Minister Falah Mustafa to join Diplomatic Corps in the 31st commemoration of chemical attack on Halabja

SUN, 17 MAR 2019 16:37

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq ( – Head of KRG Department of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa along with the head of foreign missions in the Kurdistan Region participated in the commemoration of the 31st anniversary of the chemical attack on Halabja organized by Ministry of Martyrs and Anfal affairs and Halabja governorate.