2. Despite having been through various phases and having witnessed some vicissitudes, Pakistan-Japan relations have kept growing to the mutual benefit of the two countries. Until the late 1950s, the relationship was essentially that of two developing countries. Pakistan, being the main source of raw cotton for Japan's textile industry, was one of its major trading partners. Japanese spindles on the other hand helped build our textile industry. In the 1960s, Japan, however, re-emerged as a modern industrialized nation and started extending Yen loan assistance to Pakistan. The Japanese assistance was doubled to Pakistan following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Japan, since then, has been Pakistan's major source of economic assistance, a leading trading partner and an important source of foreign investment.
3. Japan's economic assistance has played a very important role in the development of Pakistan's economic and social infrastructure. The major projects, which have been funded by the Government of Japan, include the Indus Highway Project, a number of power projects in various provinces of Pakistan, Rural Roads Construction Project and the Children Hospital PIMS lslamabad Project. Presently the Kohat Tunnel Project and the Ghazi Brotha Dam Project are being completed with the help of the Japanese assistance.
4. There has been a regular exchange of high level visits between the two countries. Besides, both the countries have extended each other frequent support in international fora on a reciprocal basis and a growing mutual understanding has marked the bilateral consultations. Pakistan and Japan have therefore come to share perceptions on a number of key regional and global issues.
5. Pakistan and Japan had established formal diplomatic relations on 28th April 1952. The 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, being jointly celebrated by the two countries this year, is a significant landmark in the history of this friendship.
6. A number of high profile, ceremonial, commercial and cultural events have been organized to mark this historic occasion. The visit of the President of Pakistan to Japan during the first half of the year would be the cornerstone of these commemorative events. Other notable activities would include Export Promotion Bureau's participation in two trade fairs and a Single Country Exhibition in Japan, organization of a Fashion and Design Show and an Investment seminar in Tokyo in collaboration with BOI, the 'Gandhara Art from Pakistan' Exhibition with the assistance of NHK of Japan, and issuance of commemorative stamps by the Post Offices of the two countries. Besides, exchange of visits between sports teams, artists and youth delegations of the two countries, and a "Tourism in Pakistan" Seminar along-with a cultural show, in Tokyo will also be organized during the year. The Japanese Embassy is lslamabad is similarly planning to host a number of commemorative events in Pakistan. Date of Issue (April 28, 2002)