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    PM Abe's visit is indeed a historic and significant milestone in our bilateral relations - President Featured

    September 08, 2014

    It is with great pleasure that I welcome His Excellency Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan and his Delegation. This visit is indeed a historic and significant milestone in our bilateral relations. I recall the first Official Visit by a Japanese Prime Minister to Sri Lanka was in 1957 by H.E. Shinzo Abe’s Grandfather, His Excellency, the late Nobusuke Kishi, the then Prime Minister of Japan.


    Based on our common Asian identity and strong vibrant partnership, Japan and Sri Lanka have maintained a close and friendly relationship that reaffirms the strong bonds of friendship through generations.


    The development of large infrastructure projects, the Official Development Assistance, partnership in the maritime sphere and the promotion of people-to-people contacts were some of the subjects highlighted during discussions. Sri Lanka and Japan exchanged Notes on the Loan Agreement relating to the Digitalization of Terrestrial Television Broadcasting Project which would contribute towards the advancement of information and communication technology in Sri Lanka. We welcome the Memorandum of Cooperation on the Vitalization of Intergovernmental Economic Policy Dialogue which was signed with a view to enhancing bilateral trade, investment and economic engagement, as well as the Memorandum of Cooperation and Letter of Intent signed on Agriculture, and on Science, Technology and Innovation.


    As longstanding friends we discussed our bilateral political relations in a frank and cordial atmosphere. The Japanese Prime Minister was informed of our firm commitment to reap the dividends of peace and stability and to continue with Sri Lanka’s economic development agenda for the benefit of our people.


    We will steadfastly continue to forge national reconciliation efforts to further consolidate the prevailing peace and stability. We have taken many difficult decisions in spite of daunting challenges. The domestic mechanisms for reconciliation that are in place in Sri Lanka have brought significant results.


    I wish to acknowledge the role played by Japan as a trusted partner and friend in the international fora on issues relating to Sri Lanka. In this context, the constructive role played by Ambassador Yasushi Akashi, as Japan’s Representative for Peace Building, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction needs to be emphasized and appreciated. This is a result of mutual trust and confidence.


    Sri Lanka has consistently engaged with the international community and has maintained a dialogue in good faith, in a spirit of mutual respect and transparency. It is regretted that certain external entities are refusing to acknowledge the significant progress made by Sri Lanka towards further consolidating peace and reconciliation. At a time when Sri Lanka is facing many challenges, I wish to acknowledge and express my sincere appreciation to Japan for the support, understanding, solidarity and friendship extended to Sri Lanka and its people.

    Last modified on Tuesday, 09 September 2014 10:54

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