Master Arabic language, Abe tells Japan students

ABU DHABI — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has advised young Japanese students in the capital to master Arabic and English languages.

By Mohammad Abdul Qudoos (Deputy Bureau Chief)

Published: Tue 1 May 2007, 8:34 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:19 AM

"Learning these languages will prove to be very important in your life," he told the students in a brief address during a visit to the Japanese School in Abu Dhabi yesterday morning.

Shaikha Lubna Al Qassimi, Minister of Economy, and Takuma Hatano, Japanese Ambassador to the UAE, were accompanying the Japanese PM during the visit.

Three Emirati children are studying in KG class in the school on the initiative of General Shaikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Abe said that studying in the UAE would be a very good experience for the Japanese students.

Abe and his wife, Akie, arrived at the school to a rousing welcome by the students who were waiving the UAE and Japanese flags. They shook hands with the students and exchanged greetings. They then walked to a banner on which several drawings by the children were displayed. They appreciated the efforts made by the young students.

The guests were formally welcomed in the indoor sports hall of the school where the PM addressed the students. The students also asked him questions to which he happily answered.

"Why did you choose to become a politician?" a child asked. "My father (Shintaro) was the foreign minister and my grandfather-in-law (Kishi) was the prime minister of the country. I watched my parents work and I respect them. So I decided to become a politician," Abe answered.

"I hope you will have a future like me," he told the students.

Another student asked him what he liked in Abu Dhabi. Abe said he had arrived on Sunday and he had visited the palace and the hotel where he was staying. He appreciated the local cultural institutions in the city.

The students had the opportunity of a group photograph with Abe and Akie with the banner carrying their drawings in the background. The guests also appreciated another banner hung on the wall of the sports hall which carried lyrics on the beauty of Abu Dhabi in Japanese language.

The guests left the hall while the students chanted "Maa As Salama".

Their next stop was at the KG section of the school where the children presented bouquets to Abe and Akie. The students introduced themselves and sang songs in Japanese while piano played in the background.

The KG section has three Emirati students, Maria Yogo, Vice Principal of the school, informed the PM. While Abdullah Al Hosni was the first to join in September, 2006. Abdullah Al Mansouri and Abdullah Shekali joined later.

Kiyoshi Yoshizaki, Principal of the Japanese School in Abu Dhabi, said the PM was happy to see Emirati students in the Japanese school. This is the first time that the school has accepted Emirati children.

The PM and his wife were given a warm farewell by the students.

The Japanese School in Abu Dhabi was established in 1978. It has 37 students from Grade 1 to 9, and 10 students in the KG class.

The Japanese PM's wife later spent an evening with an Emirati family.

More news from