On April 19, Ambassador of Japan Noke Masaki visited the royal reception hall at Abdeen Palace, one of the official residences of the former monarchy and royal family of Egypt.
The visit coincided with the anniversary of the visit of the grandfather of the current Emperor, Emperor Shōwa (Crown Prince at the time), to Egypt exactly 100 years ago, in April 1921, on his way to Europe.
“On April 15, 1921, the battleship with His Highness the Crown Prince on board, berthed at Port Said,” Ambassador Masaki said.
“Then His Highness took a special train from Port Said to Cairo, where he visited the Giza pyramids and the Great Sphinx. Then His Highness visited Abdeen Palace on April 19, where he was received by His Majesty Sultan Fouad I, Sultan of Egypt at that time,” the ambassador added.
The Ambassador obtained information about the visit from the archives of The Egyptian Mail.
“I was pleasantly surprised by The Egyptian Mail for conserving old articles of 100 years a go on the memorable visit of then His Imperial Highness Crown Prince of Japan in Egypt. There are many discoveries. It is particularly interesting to know the feelings of Egyptians about Japan at that time,” he told The Egyptian Gazette.
The Gazette was founded in 1880 as a four-page weekly tabloid in Alexandria by five Britons of whom Andrew Philip was editor and Moberly Bell, who later became managing editor of The Times in London.
Before World War II, ownership of The Egyptian Gazette passed to the Société Orientale de Publicité (SOP, Eastern Publishing Company), in which Oswald J. Finney, a wealthy British businessman, was the major shareholder.
The Gazette found itself associated with The Egyptian Mail, another English-language Egyptian newspaper, founded in 1914, and also owned by SOP. The market was split between the two dailies, with The Mail appearing in the morning, and The Gazette in the evening.
The newspaper’s offices were moved to Cairo in 1938.
With the departure of the British Army, the market for English-language newspapers shrank dramatically. As a result, and as it continues to the present day, The Gazette is published every day except Tuesdays, when the now-weekly The Egyptian Mail appears.
“The newspaper does not only report but also records history and reminds us of the depth and length of our relations,” Ambassador Masaki said.
This year also marks the 85th anniversary of establishing the Japanese diplomatic mission in Cairo in 1936.
Ambassador Masaki said that the existence of such an important meeting even 15 years before establishing the mission had deeply sensed the history of bilateral exchange and friendly relations between Japan and Egypt, and made him feel “greatness and dignity”.
“Over the past 100 years, both Japan and Egypt have undergone great changes. However, the intimate friendly ties between the two countries and their peoples have not changed since His Majesty Emperor Shōwa and His Majesty Sultan Fouad I 100 years ago, but more progress has been made,” he added.
“Thank you very much, and please continue to cover our friendly and fruitful bilateral relations,” he told The Gazette.