- Created on Friday, 15 March 2013 13:05
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Strengthening Japan-Sri Lanka Partnership beyond the 60th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations
1. The President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, His Excellency Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, is currently paying an Official Working Visit to Japan from 12 to 15 March 2013 at the invitation of the Prime Minister of Japan, His Excellency Mr. Shinzo Abe. President Rajapaksa is accompanied by First Lady, Mrs. Shiranthi Rajapaksa and a high-level delegation.
2. Prime Minister Abe and President Rajapaksa held a summit meeting on 14 March. The Summit talks were marked by friendship as well as mutual respect and understanding drawing on the historical relations between the two countries since the San Francisco Peace Conference in 1951. The two leaders acknowledged that Japan-Sri Lanka relations have matured and diversified with the passage of time, encompassing wide-ranging areas of contemporary relevance, including trade and investment, development cooperation, culture and education. The two leaders shared the recognition, with the advent of peace and stability in Sri Lanka, both countries were presented with new opportunities to further harness the enormous potential available for consolidating and strengthening their bilateral partnership.
3. Building upon shared values such as democracy and rule of law, the two leaders welcomed the high level interactions as a platform to promote policy dialogue. They decided to utilize wide ranging visits and dialogues to further reinforce the bilateral cooperation.
4. Prime Minister Abe expressed, on behalf of the Government and people of Japan, his profound gratitude for the heartfelt sympathy and support extended to them from the Government and people of Sri Lanka following the Great East Japan Earthquake. President Rajapaksa reiterated his solidarity with Japan. The two leaders noted the need to cooperate in the field of disaster management as countries that had suffered natural calamity.
5. The two leaders acknowledged that, as maritime countries, Japan and Sri Lanka had a responsibility to play important roles for the stability and prosperity of the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions. In this regard, the two leaders shared the view that Sri Lanka, being located on the Indian Ocean sea lanes and having a potential to be a maritime hub of the region, would play a crucial and positive role among the international community. Prime Minister Abe expressed his intention that Japan would continue to provide necessary assistance to Sri Lanka’s efforts to that end.
6. Recognizing the importance of norms and principles of general international law, the two leaders confirmed that the ocean is a common resource under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). They decided to upgrade and expand bilateral cooperation and discussion in order to effectively address maritime issues common to both countries.
7. Prime Minister Abe expressed his gratitude to President Rajapaksa for welcoming port calls of Maritime Self-Defense Force vessels that were engaged in anti-piracy operations. The two leaders decided to promote cooperation and exchanges between the defense authorities in the field of maritime security such as anti-piracy.
8. The two leaders decided to expand cooperation between the coast guards in the field of capacity building such as maritime law enforcement, search and rescue (SAR), disaster prevention and environment protection.
9. Noting the steady economic growth of Sri Lanka, both leaders underlined their desire to nurture a favourable environment to forge closer economic and trade linkages. The two leaders, to this end, decided to promote intergovernmental economic dialogue and to strengthen bilateral trade as well as Japanese investment in Sri Lanka. The two leaders noted the need to dispatch a Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) joint investment mission to Sri Lanka, as a follow up to the investment seminar that would take place during the President’s visit to Japan, to conduct JETRO’s survey on Needs and Strategies for Japan-Sri Lanka business, and to dispatch experts from New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) in order to explore the possibility of bilateral cooperation.
10. President Rajapaksa highly appreciated Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) over the years which played a significant role for the social and economic development of Sri Lanka. Prime Minister Abe expressed his intention to continue cooperation for Sri Lanka’s sustainable growth. In this context, the Government of Japan decided to extend loans totaling approximately 41.1 billion yen and grant aid totaling approximately 2.7 billion yen to areas including infrastructure development and disaster prevention.
11. President Rajapaksa appreciated ongoing study of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on transport infrastructure for metropolitan area and expressed his hope that Japan’s assistance would continue in this area to introduce suitable mass rapid transit system to mitigate the traffic congestion and eliminate transport bottlenecks in Colombo Metropolitan and suburbs.
12. President Rajapaksa while acknowledging with appreciation the engagement of the Japanese consortium in the construction of the Parliamentary Complex in 1982, expressed his hope for further such engagement for its refurbishment work with a view to sustaining its historical value and unique identity including the expansion of member facilities. Prime Minister Abe noted this statement.
13. President Rajapaksa expressed his intention to explore the possibility of adopting the ISDB-T as the terrestrial digital television broadcasting system in Sri Lanka after studying the technical aspects of it including the result of trial broadcasting of the system. Prime Minister Abe expressed his expectation that Sri Lanka would find advantages of ISDB-T through its trial broadcasting and comparative study and would decide to adopt ISDB-T.
14. The two leaders confirmed the importance of national reconciliation for the lasting peace in Sri Lanka, noting that peace and prosperity following the end of operations against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was a paramount need. Prime Minister Abe highly appreciated the specific efforts made by the Government of Sri Lanka for the realization of national reconciliation, including drafting, making budgetary provisions and giving effect to the National Action Plan for the implementation of the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), and stressed the importance of the Government of Sri Lanka to maintain and promote its further efforts. In this context, Prime Minister Abe expressed his intention to provide assistance through such international organizations as UNICEF and UN-HABITAT to support the efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka to implement the LLRC National Action Plan as well as to rebuild the nation.
15. President Rajapaksa expressed his appreciation of the Government of Japan for the consistent engagement and assistance for the peace-building process in Sri Lanka, exemplified by the diplomatic efforts by Mr. Yasushi Akashi, the Representative of the Government of Japan for Peace-Building, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction in Sri Lanka. The President also expressed his strong commitment to the continued steady realization of the LLRC National Action Plan, including through holding an election for the Provincial Council of the Northern Province in accordance with the schedule already indicated by the President, an inclusive dialogue among all the political parties within the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC), and further promoting the trilingual policy, with a view to facilitating national reconciliation. Prime Minister Abe welcomed the political leadership of President Rajapaksa and expressed strong expectations for the steady and continued implementation of these measures.
16. The two leaders shared the importance of further strengthening cultural and academic exchanges as well as people-to-people exchanges including those of intellectuals, youths, and tourism, in providing an impetus to consolidate the existing friendship and cooperation. President Rajapaksa appreciated the scholarships granted by the Japanese government as a means of strengthening human resource capacity building of Sri Lanka. Prime Minister Abe expressed his intention to invite approximately 150 youths from Sri Lanka through JENESYS2.0 in order to promote interests towards Japan among the youths of Sri Lanka and to promote tourism between the two countries.
17. The two leaders welcomed the establishment of the Academy of Financial Studies (AFS) and the proposal to establish the Sri Lanka-Japan Study Centre in University of Peradeniya, and expressed hope that these institutions would vitalize the intellectual exchanges between Japan and Sri Lanka.
18. The two leaders reaffirmed their determination to strengthen cooperation for early reform of the United Nations Security Council, which would include the expansion of both permanent and non-permanent categories as well as the enhancement of the governance, in order to render the body more representative, legitimate, effective and responsive to the realities and challenges of the international community in the 21st century. President Rajapaksa reiterated his support for Japan’s permanent membership in the Security Council, for which Prime Minister Abe expressed appreciation.
19. The two leaders expressed their grave concern over Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)’s nuclear and missile development programs, including uranium enrichment program and condemned in the strongest terms its nuclear test on 12 February 2013 and missile launches in April and December 2012 as clear violations of relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions. The two leaders urged DPRK to take concrete actions towards the denuclearization and other goals as well as to fully implement the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, including Resolution 2094. They also urged the DPRK to refrain from any action which could compromise peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula and hinder the progress of the Six Party Talks. The two leaders strongly urged the DPRK to address without delay the humanitarian concerns of the international community, including the abductions issue.
20. The two leaders decided to further promote cooperation to tackle environmental issues including climate change, recognizing that these are pressing global challenges.
21. Both leaders expressed their satisfaction at the outcome of the Official Working Visit by the President of Sri Lanka to Japan, which provided further testimony to the continuing excellent relations between the two countries. President Rajapaksa extended a cordial invitation to Prime Minister Abe to visit Sri Lanka. Prime Minister Abe expressed his appreciation for the invitation.
14 March 2013
H. E. Shinzo Abe Prime Minister of Japan
H. E. Mahinda Rajapaksa President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka