World Food Programme Executive Director Ertharin Cousin met today with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, welcoming the nation's continued commitment to support WFP, even amidst fiscal difficulties.
The Prime Minister’s confirmation of support came at the end of the second day of Cousin's visit to Japan, and echoed the messages received throughout the day during a range of meetings including those with the Minister of Defence, Mr Naoki Tanaka, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Koichiro Gemba, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Ryuji Yamane, and the President of the WFP Parliamentary League in Japan, Mr Yukio Hatoyama.
Cousin travelled to Japan, WFP’s third largest donor, to thank the country for its unwavering support of the world’s most vulnerable.
All dignitaries praised the work of WFP -- and in particular WFP's Japanese staff members -- during the devastating earthquake that struck the country just over a year ago.
The Executive Director then went to Yokohama City, where she joined the Mayor, Ms. Fumiko Hayashi, and Mr. Koki Ando, Chairman of the Japan Association of WFP, at the opening of the first ‘Walk the World’ event since the earthquake.
“Each of you who are walking are a symbol of hope and represent the determination and generosity of Japan,” she told the 3,000 people taking part.
An annual walk organized in dozens of countries, Walk the World aims to raise awareness about global hunger.
Cousin is scheduled to give a keynote address on hunger and nutrition at the U Thant Hall at the UN University Headquarters in Tokyo on Tuesday.