The Japanese Foreign Affairs Minister Taro Kono paid a special visit to the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) following his official visit to Sri Lanka.
This was the first time in 15 years a Japanese Foreign Minister is touring in Sri Lanka and also the first time a Japanese Foreign Minister ever paid a visit to the Colombo port. Kono also visited the newly-built control tower and the Colombo Port Expansion Project currently known as the Colombo South Port.
He was briefed by Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Chairman Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake about the project, the consideration to expand the facility and the three-year plan been initiated to develop the Port of Colombo.
Dissanayake also emphasised that the Port of Colombo was located within the strategically-important Indian Ocean sea lanes governing the region’s maritime business in view of making it the hub of the marine region. The Japanese government on numerous occasions was involved in building facilities in the Colombo Port.
“The construction of the Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) and establishment of its operational superstructure way back in 1980s, enabled to enhance the identity of the port during past decades as an efficient maritime centre in the region,” he added.
The high profile Japanese delegation at the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) also included Japanese Ambassador Kenichi Suganuma and a special team of Japanese journalists from press and electronic media.
The SLPA officials who were present comprised of Vice Chairman P.G. Dasanayake, Harbour Master Capt. Athula Hewawitharana, Chief Manager Upul Jayatissa and the Actg. Chief Manager Nalin Aponso.