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    GL APPRECIATES JAPAN’S CONSTRUCTIVE ENGAGEMENT WITH SRI LANKA Featured

    August 09, 2014

    During  his  discussions  with  the  Japanese  Parliamentary  delegation  which  called  on  him  at  the  Ministry  on  Friday,​(Aug.01).


    Professor  G.L. Peiris,  Minister  of  External  Affairs,  expressed  appreciation  of  Japan’s  approach  of  constructive  engagement  with  Sri  Lanka.  Japan,  he  said,  has  always  been  reluctant  to  rush  to  judgment  and  to  impose  prescriptions  from  outside,  without  adequate  consideration  of   contextual  factors.  He  observed  that  this  is  very  much  in  line  with  Asian  cultural  traditions  which  emphasize  respect  for  the   identity  and  dignity  of  other  nations,  and  a  nuanced  view  recognizing  divergence  of  outlook  and  value   systems.  The   Minister  referred  to  Japan’s  long  relationship  with  Sri  Lanka  and  her  consistent  support  for  the  development  of  our  economy,  and  Japan’s  understanding  of  the  current  challenges  facing  Sri  Lanka.

     

    Prof. Peiris paid tribute to the deep and rich relationship between the two countries, typified by the State Visit of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Japan last year, during which he was received by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, and the subsequent visit to Sri Lanka by Mr. Taro Aso, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Japan.

     

    The  Japanese  Parliamentary  delegation  discussed  with  Minister  Peiris,  a  wide  range  of  matters  connected  with  Sri  Lanka’s  initiatives  in  the  field  of  reconstruction  and  reconciliation,  the  Parliamentary  Select  Committee  process  in  respect  of  constitutional  issues,  and  the  role  of  Japanese  companies  in  many  sectors  of  our  economy,  including  construction,  infrastructure  and  services.  Priorities  with  regard  to  Japanese  aid,  and  the  importance  attached  to  environmental  considerations,  were  touched  upon.  Japan’s  active  contribution  to  skills  development,  exemplified  in  particular  by  the  work  of  JAICA,  formed  part  of  the  discussion.

     

    Prof. Peiris mentioned the Inter-governmental Economic Policy Dialogue which both countries have expressed interest in pursuing, with the prospect of developing at a later stage either a Free Trade Agreement or an Economic Partnership Agreement.  Sri Lanka has already established an inter-Ministerial Committee to study these possibilities.  Minister Peiris thanked the Government of Japan for the enthusiasm shown by the Japanese side, led by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industries.

     

    The Minister expressed deep appreciation to the government and people of Japan for their generosity and goodwill extended over the years to Sri Lanka in the form of Official Development Assistance (ODA) which has contributed markedly to the enhancement of the domestic economic landscape.

     

    He also referred to the Monbukagakusho Scholarship Scheme of the Government of Japan which has enabled Sri Lankan students to follow degree courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels at several universities in Japan and at the prestigious College of Technology.

     

    The delegation was led by Mr. Masahiko Koumara, President of the Japan – Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship League and Vice-President of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.  He has previously held the portfolios of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Justice in the Government of Japan.

     

    Five Members of Japan’s Home of Representatives — Mr. Naokazu Takemoto, Mr. Taimei Yamaguchi, Mr. Wataru Takeshita, Mr. Masayoshi Yoshino and Ms. Yuko Obuchi — constituted the rest of the delegation.

     

    Japan’s Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Mr. Nobuhito Hobo, accompanied the delegation.  Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Japan, Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda was also present.​(KH/MEA)​

     

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