Desk Report: Japan today extended its full support to Bangladesh’s call for safe and dignified return of Rohingyas to their homeland as the two countries came up with a joint press statement following talks between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her counterpart Shizo Abe.
According to the statement delivered following their talks at the Japanese premier’s office, the two leaders discussed finding a “durable and early solution” to the protracted Rohingya crisis erupted with the displacement of over a million Rohingya populations from Myanmar to Bangladesh.
Sheikh Hasina appreciated Japanese realization of the gravity of the crisis as “Prime Minister Abe and I discussed finding a durable and early solution to the humanitarian and political crisis”.
“Japan understands that the solution to this crisis lies in the early, safe and dignified return of this displaced people to their homeland Myanmar and it is necessary for Myanmar to create conducive atmosphere in Rakhine State of Myanmar for the return of the displaced people,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina thanked the Japanese government for their generous support to Dhaka in handling the crisis, and for their efforts to support early repatriation of the forcibly displaced people to Myanmar.
The prime minister said she and Abe reiterated their commitment to take Bangladesh-Japan relations to new heights of cooperation and partnership.
“And I am confident that we will achieve that much more given the excellent understanding and friendship that exist between our two peoples and our governments,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said they witnessed signing of 40th ODA Loan Package of US Dollar 2.5 billion to develop infrastructure and promote investment in Bangladesh.
“I thank Prime Minister Abe for this Loan Package,” she said.
The prime minister said she deiscussed with Abe the entire gamut of bilateral relations and agreed on several new ideas to enhance and strengthen the level of cooperation between the two countries.
“We’ve agreed to explore all possible areas where our two countries can find mutually beneficial outcomes,” she said. Sheikh Hasina said their 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.
“Prime Minister Abe has assured me that Japan will continue to provide assistance to realize that target,” she said.
The premier said considering the importance of developing the Southeast of Bangladesh, they discussed ideas to build quality infrastructure in that region.
The prime minister said they also decided to strengthen mutual cooperation in international platforms to fight terrorism and violent extremism.
“We also agreed to mitigate risk emanating from climate change, ensure denuclearization to keep our children safe and most of all extending support to each other’s efforts to expand the horizon of peace and knowledge,” she said.
“Prime Minister Abe has assured her that Japan will stand by Bangladesh and extend necessary support to reach its goal to become a developed country by 2041 as it by now achieved all the criteria to graduate from Least Developed Country to Developing Country.
Sheikh Hasina said they both agreed that international trade and flow of investment are key channels to strengthen economic cooperation while “we have put special emphasis on regional stability and peace”.
She said Japan occupies a very special place in the hearts of the people of Bangladesh as “the level of commitment that Japan has been showing since our independence in 1971, is truly remarkable”.
The premier said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman dreamt of making Bangladesh a prosperous nation and his vision of development was greatly influenced by the development history of Japan.
“After more than 48 years since our independence in 1971, we can now confidently say that we are moving in the right direction to fulfill that dream. And it’s reassuring to have Japan by our side always,” she said.
The prime minister said it was always a pleasure for her to be in japan and “I’m particularly delighted to be here at the advent of the new era, Reiwa, ushering in beautiful harmony” while she simultaneously appreciated the level of hospitality extended to her.
Sheikh Hasina extended her warmest felicitations to japan’s Emperor Naruhito, members of the imperial family and the Japanese people on the joyous occasion of His Majesty’s enthronement._BSS.
risingbd/Dhaka/May 29, 2019/Nasim