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Friday Sep 09, 2016

Japan Consul General on Pakistani culture, languages and cuisine

The Consul General of Japan in Karachi, Toshikazu Isomura, visited our studios today where we asked him about his experiences in Pakistan, his favourite memories of the country and how on earth he learned to speak such impeccable Urdu.

“It’s fun learning the language of the place you live in,” he laughed, adding that he has been living in Pakistan since 1985 and has had plenty of opportunities to immerse himself in the local language.

“I used to watch Pakistani movies in the cinema when I first came here, and I made so many friends here, that’s how I learned Urdu,” he said and added that he also took Urdu language courses at Punjab University during his career as a diplomat in Pakistan.

We asked him how much of Pakistan he has seen. “Oh I’ve been all over the country!” he said. He had even been to Waziristan years ago, and what an adventurous journey that had been, he reminisced.

What projects is Japan working on here in Pakistan? “Many projects throughout the country,” Mr Isomura replied, the Children’s Hospital at PIMS and Construction Technology Training Institute in Islamabad, Indus Highway and Bin Qasim power plants being some of the examples.

He added that Japan has been involved in several projects spanning diverse fields in Pakistan since 1954.

When asked about his thoughts on the security situation in Pakistan, Mr Isomura lauded Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif’s efforts in improving the security landscape and said the country looked to be headed toward peace. "Security situation will keep getting better, Inshaa Allah!" he added.

His favourite place in Pakistan? “Lahore, definitely Lahore,” the Consul General said as he shared his memories from the city. New in Pakistan, he had spent two years in Lahore studying Urdu and exploring the region, young and carefree. He said he really liked Hunza Valley as well.

Asked about his favourite Pakistani cuisine, Mr Isomura said he loved ‘qeema karela’ when he first tried it in South Punjab. He hasn’t yet managed to find a more delicious dish since, he added.

“Pakistanis like to eat meat.. mutton, chicken, beef, lamb..” he observed. “But in Japan we love to eat fish! It’s always the fish, the seafood,” he chuckled.

How does he like living in Pakistan? “I love it here!” he said. Pakistanis are so nice and loving, it has always felt like home here, he said smiling.  

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