Tokyo stands by Bangladesh over Rohingya repatriation issue

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TOKYO, May 29, 2019 (BSS) – Japan today extended its full support to
Bangladesh’s call for safe and dignified return of Rohingyas to their
homeland as the two countries came up with a joint press statement following talks
between Prime Minster Sheikh Hasina and her counterpart Shinzo Abe.

According to the statement delivered following their talks at the Japanese
premier’s office, the two leaders discussed finding a “durable and early
solution” to the protracted Rohingya crisis erupted with the displacement of
over a million Rohingya populations from Myanmar to Bangladesh.

Sheikh Hasina appreciated Japanese realization of the gravity of the
crisis as “Prime Minister Abe and I discussed finding a durable and early
solution to the humanitarian and political crisis”.

“Japan understands that the solution to this crisis lies in the early,
safe and dignified return of this displaced people to their homeland Myanmar
and it is necessary for Myanmar to create conducive atmosphere in Rakhine
State of Myanmar for the return of the displaced people,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina thanked the Japanese government for their generous support to
Dhaka in handling the crisis, and for their efforts to support early
repatriation of the forcibly displaced people to Myanmar.

The prime minister said she and Abe reiterated their commitment to take
Bangladesh-Japan relations to new heights of cooperation and partnership.

“And I am confident that we will achieve that much more given the
excellent understanding and friendship that exist between our two peoples and
our governments,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said they witnessed signing of 40th ODA Loan Package of US
Dollar 2.5 billion to develop infrastructure and promote investment in
Bangladesh.

“I thank Prime Minister Abe for this Loan Package,” she said.

The prime minister said she deiscussed with Abe the entire gamut of
bilateral relations and agreed on several new ideas to enhance and strengthen
the level of cooperation between the two countries.

“We’ve agreed to explore all possible areas where our two countries can
find mutually beneficial outcomes,” she said. Sheikh Hasina said their
discussion was greatly focused on enhancing regional connectivity to harness
the full potentials of the countries and improving physical infrastructure
would be a critical factor to establish effective connectivity.

“Prime Minister Abe has assured me that Japan will continue to provide
assistance to realize that target,” she said.

The premier said considering the importance of developing the Southeast of
Bangladesh, they discussed ideas to build quality infrastructure in that
region.

The prime minister said they also decided to strengthen mutual cooperation
in international platforms to fight terrorism and violent extremism.

“We also agreed to mitigate risk emanating from climate change, ensure
denuclearization to keep our children safe and most of all extending support
to each other’s efforts to expand the horizon of peace and knowledge,” she
said.

“Prime Minister Abe has assured her that Japan will stand by Bangladesh
and extend necessary support to reach its goal to become a developed country
by 2041 as it by now achieved all the criteria to graduate from Least
Developed Country to Developing Country.

Sheikh Hasina said they both agreed that international trade and flow of
investment are key channels to strengthen economic cooperation while “we have
put special emphasis on regional stability and peace”.

She said Japan occupies a very special place in the hearts of the people
of Bangladesh as “the level of commitment that Japan has been showing since
our independence in 1971, is truly remarkable”.

The premier said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
dreamt of making Bangladesh a prosperous nation and his vision of development
was greatly influenced by the development history of Japan.

“After more than 48 years since our independence in 1971, we can now
confidently say that we are moving in the right direction to fulfill that
dream. And it’s reassuring to have Japan by our side always,” she said.

The prime minister said it was always a pleasure for her to be in japan
and “I’m particularly delighted to be here at the advent of the new era,
Reiwa, ushering in beautiful harmony” while she simultaneously appreciated
the level of hospitality extended to her.

Sheikh Hasina extended her warmest felicitations to japan’s Emperor
Naruhito, members of the imperial family and the Japanese people on the
joyous occasion of His Majesty’s enthronement.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in his statement highly appreciated Bangladesh for hosting over a million displaced Myanmar people with protection.

“We’ll continue to support Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s endeavors in this regard,” he assured.

Referring to the deaths of seven Japanese national in Holey Artisan attack on July 1 in 2016, the Japanese premier has expressed his desire to work with Bangladesh in the area of counterterrorism.

He also showed interest to work with Bangladesh on maritime security.

About the bilateral talks, he said, “We had an extremely meeting to exchange of opinions about enhancing our relationship in extensive areas of security, economic cooperation and cultural, among others.”

He also lauded Bangladesh’s tremendous development under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Earlier, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrived at the Japanese Prime Minister’s Office and held a bilateral meeting with her Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe.

Sheikh Hasina was given a guard of honour when she reached the Japanese Prime Minister’s Office.