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Iftar (Fast-Breaking Meal during the Holy Ramadan Month) with the Islamic Diplomatic Corps
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi hosted an "Iftar" (fast-breaking meal during the Holy Ramadan Month) with the Ambassadors from Islamic nations at the Prime Minister's Official Residence.
During the approximately month-long Holy Ramadan Month, Muslims refrain from eating and drinking from sunrise until sunset in accordance with Islamic law. Iftar is the fast-breaking meal during the Holy Ramadan Month, and features courses that are more lavish than usual. This Iftar event was held with the purpose of deepening Japan's understanding of Islamic culture with a view to promoting mutual understanding through strengthening dialogue between Japan and the Islamic world, with representatives from approximately 40 countries and regions participating.
In his greetings, Prime Minister Koizumi said, "The idea to host this event today sprang from my belief that holding Iftar, an Islamic custom, at the Prime Minister's Official Residence and spending a pleasant time with all of you would greatly contribute to the relations between Japan and the Islamic nations. Since this will be a fast-breaking meal for you today, I skipped my lunch so that I too would feel as if I had been fasting to a certain degree. I would like to sample all the various cuisines of your countries, and further advance the friendly and cooperative relations between Japan and the Islamic nations."
In addition, H.E. Mr. Salah Hannachi, the Ambassador of the Tunisian Republic to Japan, representing the Islamic Diplomatic Corps in Japan, said in his greetings, "The people of Japan have admirably expressed their confidence in your leadership and reforms, and to this I extend my congratulations."