- Published on Tuesday, 30 July 2013 01:30
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Japan’s Internal Affairs and Communication Minister Yoshitaka Shindo assured Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa Japanese assistance for developing Sri Lanka’s information technology, telecommunications and other technology-related projects, thereby further strengthening the long-standing relationship between the two countries. Minister Yoshitaka Shindo gave this assurance when he met Minister Basil Rajapaksa at the Ministry office on Monday July 29.
Minister Rajapaksa said that Japan tops the list of countries giving development assistance to Sri Lanka. He added people of Sri Lanka express their gratitude to the Japanese Government for the continuous assistance given to this country in the areas of power and energy development, fisheries and highway construction among others during the past four years.
In March this year, President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited Japan and held bilateral discussions with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Following the meeting the Japanese government committed to a total of Rs. 57.8 billion in development aid to Sri Lanka. Since then, this is the second high-level visit of a Japanese government official. On May 1, Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso visited Sri Lanka and met President Rajapaksa. It was Minister Basil Rajapaksa who received the Japanese Deputy Prime Minister at the Katunayake Airport.
Minister Rajapaksa told Japan’s Internal Affairs and Communication Minister Shindo that President Rajapaksa’s first priority when he came to power was to secure peace and the second was to ensure food security since the latter cannot be achieved without the former.
A number of Japanese investors have visited Sri Lanka due to the country’s improved infrastructure facilities and its environment-friendly nature, according to the Economic Development Minister who said that Japan’s decision to assist and do research in developing information technology and telecommunications in the island is another victory for this country.
Such assistance is vital to Sri Lanka to raise the country’s production levels and provide electricity at a profit, stressed the Minister Rajapaksa and said that Japan had the best expertise in these areas.
Among the others present were Japan’s Ambassador in Sri Lanka Nobuhito Hobo, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Japan Wasantha Karannagoda and senior officials of Japan’s Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry.