Dhaka-Tokyo cooperation continues to ensure regional, international peace: FM

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali today said Dhaka-Tokyo cooperation continues to ensure regional and international peace, security and development.

"Japan has been a trusted and tested friend for socio-economic development of Bangladesh," he said as he recalled with gratitude the invaluable support of the Japanese people and the government in the country's War of Liberation in 1971.

The minister was making a statement at a function at the residence of Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh in the capital in celebrating the Birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan.

Ministers, parliament members, political leaders, academics, senior journalist, eminent citizens, cultural personalities and business leaders, among others, joined the function.

Mahmood Ali in his statement gave a brief account on how Japan-Bangladesh relation was elevated to a level of "Comprehensive Partnership" following visit and return visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to Japan and her Japanese counterpart Shinjo Abe to Bangladesh in 2014.

Abe's visit to Bangladesh showed the depth and breadth of the ties between our two countries, he said adding that relationship has further strengthened with the recent visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to Japan in May 2016.

Terming Japan as a tested friend for socio-economic development of Bangladesh, he said that Bangladesh deeply appreciate Japan's Official Development Assistance and for a further package of assistance to Bangladesh for ensuring continued economic development.

In this connection, he expressed the hope that the Bay-of-Bengal Industrial Growth Belt (BiG-B) initiative will have a smooth rollout and contribute further towards economic benefits for both the countries.

"As an Asian neighbour, and as a close friend, Bangladesh takes great pride in Japan's position as one of the leading economies in the world," he said.

He added that Japan stands out as a model and as an inspiration for many countries, including Bangladesh.

Referring to "Vision 2021" of the government, Ali hoped that Japan, as in the past, would continue to be a trusted partner in the endeavour to realize these goals.

"Bangladesh has come a long way to realize the dream of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman of building a 'Sonar Bangla' - the Golden Bengal and would like to maintain the strides under the leadership of Bangabandhu's daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with the support and cooperation of our friends,' he added.

The foreign minister wished the good health and happiness of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan and for the continued peace, prosperity and happiness of the friendly people of Japan.

Earlier, Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Masato Watanabe gave address of welcome in the function.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)