Japan to continue aid to Sri Lanka; Basil receives grand welcome

7 October 2013 03:47 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Japan will continue to help Sri Lanka’s economic progress by developing her infrastructure and human resources.

This follows a decision reached at a discussion Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa had with top level Japanese government ministers during his one-week official tour of Japan recently, on a Japanese government invitation.

At the discussion, Minister Rajapaksa told the Japanese officials that the visits to Sri Lanka of Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Prince Tsuguko of Takamao, Finance Senior Vice Minister and Internal Affairs and Communications Minister during the past six months, on invitations President Mahinda Rajapaksa had extended to them during his Tokyo visit, had helped the two countries to strengthen friendship and political relations between the two countries.

Minister Rajapaksa also extended his gratitude on behalf of the Sri Lankan people to the Japanese government for the unstinting assistance given to Sri Lanka’s economic progress by helping to develop power generation, fisheries industry road construction and other important areas.

The official discussions were held with Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso, Strengthening National Security Minister and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, Foreign Affairs Acting Minister Shunichi Suzuki, Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Akihiro Ota, Internal Affairs and Communication Minister Yoshitaka Shindo, Finance Senior Vice Minister Yuko Obuchi, Ministry of Economic, Trade and Industry (METE) Vice Minister Masaaki Taira, Japan International Cooperation Agency [JICA] President Akihiko Tanaka, former Foreign Affairs Minister and ruling Liberal Democratic Party Vice President Masahiko Komura, Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) Chairman Hiroyuki Ishige, Representative of the government of Japan for Peace Building, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction in Sri Lanka Ambassador Yasushi Akashi.

During his Japan tour, Minister Rajapaksa participated in discussions held in Tokyo, Kyoto, Yokohama and other cities and said that Japan occupies the foremost place among countries helping Sri Lanka in all spheres.

He added that special attention would be paid to further strengthening political and economic relations and cultural ties among other matters pertaining to the two countries.

Minister Rajapaksa was the chief guest and keynote speaker at the JETRO Investment and Business Forum held in Tokyo. In his address, he highlighted and underscored the newly emerged economic vistas in the country, particularly in the North and East Provinces.

The Economic Development Minister further added that Sri Lanka is well poised and positioned to be a hub of economic, commercial, services, knowledge, ports and aviation in the region and requested the Japanese investors to take the advantage of the opportunities available for them in Sri Lanka.After his address to the forum, he also attended a high-level business conference along with Japan-Sri Lanka Business Cooperation Committee Chairman K. Watanabe.

At this meeting, Japanese businessmen showed a great interest in infrastructure development, power generation, water management, environment protection, food production, sugar industry, higher education, recreation, entertainment and small and medium-scale industries. They were also briefed on steps Sri Lanka is taking to develop the tourism industry.

Among those who joined Minister Rajapaksa at these talks were Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Japan Wasantha Karannagoda, Japan’s Ambassador in Sri Lanka Nobuhito Hobo and Treasury DirectorGeneral Dr. D.S. Jayaweera.
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