Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga today
said Bangladesh’s Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had
made tremendous efforts to strengthen bilateral ties after the independence
He said this in a video message at the inaugural ceremony of a 10-day
grand celebration of the birth centenary of Bangabandhu and golden jubilee of
independence at the national parade ground here.
The Japanese premier said 50 years ago Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
led Bangladesh to independence with his indomitable spirit.
Japan was one of the first countries that recognized Bangladesh as a
nation state right after its independence, he recalled.
“We had a privilege of welcoming Bangabandhu to Japan. During his stay in
Japan, Bangabandhu visited even farming and fishing villages in rural areas
where he interacted with many local Japanese citizens,” he said.
Bangabandhu said he considered the development of Japan as a model to
follow, Yoshihide Suga added.
“And later he made tremendous efforts to strengthen bilateral ties,” he
The Japanese prime minister said: “Understand that it was the idea of
Bangabandhu to design Bangladeshi national flag in a way that resembles the
Japanese one, just like we are brothers.”
He said Japan and Bangladesh both having nostalgic yet beautiful landscape
of paddy fields have valued “heart to heart exchanges” and have developed
profound interactions among the citizens at grassroots level just as Japanese
children tried hard and collected relief donations for Bangladesh in the
aftermath of cyclone at the time of its independence.
“Bangladesh offered to Japan in the form of relief fund and supplies when
the Great East Japan earthquake struck us 10 years ago,” he said.
He further said: “Our traditional friendship is now tied with a strong and
firmed bond under the spirit of trust, cooperation and mutual benefit.”
Regarding the economic relations, Japan has consistently supported
Bangladesh’s efforts towards realization of “Sonar Bangla” since its
independence, he said.
Yoshihide Suga said Jamuna Multi-purpose Bridge, depicted in 100 taka
banknote and Sonargaon hotel built shortly after the independence have been
the symbols of friendship the two countries for a long time.
“In recent years, Japan has actively supported infrastructure development
of Bangladesh, such as Dhaka MRT, Dhaka International Airport third Terminal
and Matarbari Deep Seaport for a better regional connectivity, under ‘the Bay
of Bengal Industrial Growth Belt (BIG-B)’,” he said, adding that Japan also
attaches importance to Bangladesh’s socio-economic development such as health
and education and extends support to meet the needs of Bangladesh.
“I am confident that Japan’s cooperation in these areas will support
Bangladesh’s goal to be middle income country and then become a developed
country and eventually contribute to further development of our
relationship,” he said.
The Japanese premier said Bangladesh, which is located at a key point
connecting South East Asia and Indian subcontinent and has successfully been
achieving high economic growth in recent years, is a very attractive
destination for Japanese business community.
“It is my hope that our economic relations which are marked by a great
potential will make a further leap forward in the years to come,” he added.
He said the outbreak of Covid-19 has post unprecedented challenges to
socio-economic activities in the world and between the two countries.
In order to overcome this crisis together with Bangladesh, Japan has
provided emergency budget support loan, grant of medical equipment and other
emergency support through international organisations for Bangladesh, he
said, adding “The pandemic has also heightened uncertainty and how we secured
peace and stability of the region has become an increasingly important
Building a free and open order based on the rule of law and strengthening
connectivity in the Indo-Pacific region will lead to peace, stability and
prosperity of the region, he said.
He said Japan will continue to work with Bangladesh to realize a free and
Last but not least the year 2022 will mark the 50th anniversary of the
establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Bangladesh, he
“I will join hands with Bangladesh and work together closely to further
strengthen our bilateral relationship towards this special year,” he said.
He offered his heartfelt congratulations on the 50th anniversary of the
independence of Bangladesh as well as the centennial birth anniversary of
Bangabandhu, the first president of Bangladesh.
The Japanese premier expressed his sincere wishes for the prosperity of
Bangladesh and Japan and further deepening of the bilateral relationship.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)