Bangladesh is going to be the second largest recipient of Japanese assistance with the Japanese government attaching coninuted importance to the development of the country, said a spokesperson of the visiting Japanese Foreign Minister.
“Japan considers remarkable economic development of Bangladesh will create a strong need for social infrastructure development,’ said spokesperson Jun Saito.
Deputy press secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan said this while briefing about a bilateral meeting held between Japanese and Bangladesh Foreign Ministers Taro Kono and Dr AK Abul Monem held at the Padma State Guest House on Sunday evening.
Mr Jun Saito said the Japanese Foreign Minister informed the country’s position up following signing of Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan of YEN 276 million this year adding that Japan assistance will continue to be strengthend in various fields including human resource development and education.
Bangladesh was the third largest aid recipient country in 2018 and the country will take the 2nd largest position in 2019 after India, he informed.
Mr Saito said the meeting focused on a wide range of bilateral issues based on comprehensive partnership signed during the visits of the Prime Ministers of Japan and Bangladesh in 2014.
The Japanese Foreign Minister reiterated the promise to work on three pillars of this vision namely freedom of navigation, rule of law, and market economy in free and open indo pacific vision for the sustainable growth of Bangladesh.
Japanese Foreign Minister Kono arrived in Dhaka on Monday night on an official visit to attend a bilateral meeting with his Bangladeshi counterpart.
He also met Rohingya people who have taken refuge in Cox’s Bazar and stayed for two hours in the refugee camps there.
The Japanese Foreign Minister’s recent visit was third in Bangladesh since massive Rohingya exodus took place in August, 2017. His visit focusing on Rohingya camps was the second.
The spokesperson cleared his minister’s proposal on the Rohingya issue and said Tokyo wants to take initiative to expedite the process of repatriation which is safe, voluntary and dignified.
“Japan proposed to hold talks between Bangladesh and Myanmar in Tokyo,” he told the journalists stating that Tokyo does not want “prolongation” of the Rohingya crisis.
The Japanese Foreign Minister appreciated Bangladesh for accepting Independence Commission of Enquiry (ICOE) and requested his counterpart to provide maximum cooperation to it.
As the Japanese Foreign Minister left Bangladesh for Myanmar to have meetings with Aung San Suu Kyi and other high officials, the spokesperson said minister Kono will convey Dhaka’s concern to Myanmar during his visit on Wednesday.
But he said the proposal is at the very initial stage and will be shaped up in the coming days.
“There is no specific word Mediate mentioned by the Foreign Minister Kono. The proposal is very very preliminary idea,” he added.
Like previous visits, the Japanese Foreign Minister visited the site of the Holey Artisan soon after his arrival to commerate the tragic end of the lives of seven Japanese during terrorist attack in July 2016.
The spokesperson said the meeting focused on the security matters apart from economy and economic affairs, human to human exchange, personal exchange, counter terrorism and security of aid workers.
Both the ministers agreed to have more trade and investment between the two countries, the spokesperson added. Minister Kono appreciated the increase of the number of Japanese companies in Bangladesh by 50 per cent in five years but requested his counterpart to improve the business environment for the Japanese investors.
At present, 270 companies are working in Bangladesh which is almost twice the number five years ago, he informed.