PM visits to Japan: Tokyo reassures its support to Dhaka’s development journey by US $2.5 billion deal
Written by Diplomatic Correspondent
With a mission to further deepen the economic cooperation and taking the bilateral relation to a strategic level, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina made a 3-day visit to Japan on May 28-31. During this visit, Japan reassured its support to Bangladesh in its development journey by signing 40th ODA deal involving US$ 2.5 billion for implementing four projects in Bangladesh. Japan also reaffirmed its commitment to find a durable solution to the Rohingya crisis... ...
Prime Minister Hasina arrived Japan on May 28 in the evening. Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs Toshiko Abe welcomed her at Haneda International Airport, Tokyo. Prime Minister attended a community event at Hotel Okura on the day.
On May 29, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina held a bilateral meeting with her Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe at the Japanese Prime Minister’s Office in the afternoon. They discussed various bilateral, regional and international issues including Rohingya crisis.
In the meeting, both Prime Ministers decided to strengthen mutual cooperation in international platforms to fight against terrorism and violent extremism, mitigating risk emanating from climate change, ensuring denuclearization to keep children safe and extending support to each other’s efforts to expand the horizon of peace and knowledge.
After the meeting, both leaders spoke at a joint press conference. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said we discussed ways to find a durable and early solution to the humanitarian and political crisis that has emanated from the displacement of over a million Rohingya population from Myanmar to Bangladesh.
Hasina said Japan understands that the solution to this crisis lies in the early, safe and dignified return of this displaced people to their homeland of Myanmar.
She said it is necessary for Myanmar to create conducive atmosphere in Rakhine State of Myanmar for the return of the displaced people.
“I thank the Japanese government for its generous support to handle the crisis, and for its efforts to support early repatriation of the displaced people to Myanmar,” said Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Hasina and Prime Minister Abe reiterated their commitment to take Bangladesh-Japan relations to new a height of cooperation and partnership.
“I’m confident we’ll achieve that much more given the excellent understanding and friendship that exist between our two peoples and our governments,” said Prime Minister Hasina.
Hasina said she and Abe discussed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and agreed on several new ideas to enhance and strengthen the level of cooperation between our two countries.
“Our discussion was greatly focused on enhancing regional connectivity to harness the full potentials of the countries and improving physical infrastructure would be a critical factor to establish effective connectivity,” added she.
Briefing journalists, Bangladesh Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina put emphasis on developing the Bangladesh-Japan relations to a “strategic level”.
She also sought cooperation in extracting gas hydrate from seabed. Both the Prime Ministers promised to work together against terrorism and violent extremism, both at the national and international levels.
Japan will contest the UN Security Council election which will be held 2022, and Bangladesh will help it in this regard.
Japan also extended its support to Bangladesh candidate for the post of Deputy Director General, International Organization for Migration (IOM).
After the bilateral meeting, Bangladesh and Japan signed their 40th ODA deal involving US$ 2.5 billion for implementing four projects to bolster ties between the two countries.
Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Monowar Ahmed and Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Hiroyasu Izumi signed the ODA deal on behalf of their respective sides.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe witnessed the signing at his office.
Four projects, taken under the 40th Official Development Assistance (ODA) package deal, are Matarbari Port Development Project (1), Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project (Line 1), Foreign Direct Investment Promotion Project (II) and Energy Efficiency and Conservation Promotion Financing Project (Phase 2).
Later in the evening, Prime Minister attend the official dinner to be hosted by the Japanese prime minister at his residence. She also attended a breakfast roundtable meeting with Japanese Business leaders, and CEOs at Hotel New Otani. The Japanese survivors of the Holy Artisan incident called on her at the hotel.
On May 30, Sheikh Hasina attended the Nikkei International Conference on “The Future of Asia” at Imperial Hotel, where she and Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir bin Mohammad addressed as keynote speakers. The theme of the conference is “In Search of the New Global Order Overcoming the Chaos.”
She also attended the 25th International Conference of Future Asia at the same venue, and delivered a speech.
Later on, JICA president Shinichi Kitaoka called on her at her place of residence.
On May 31 in the morning, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina left Japan wrapping up her visit.