Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today sought increased Japanese assistance for the socio-economic uplift of Bangladesh especially for construction of the much needed Padma Bridge.
She sought the cooperation when a delegation of Friends of Bangladesh led by President of Parliamentary League of Japan Shin Shakurai called on her at hotel suite here this afternoon.
During the meeting, they discussed various issues of bilateral interest and matters relating to Japanese assistance for the socio- economic development of Bangladesh.
Briefing newsmen after the meeting, Prime Minister’s Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad said the delegation members assured of making their best efforts to ensure more Japanese assistance to Bangladesh for the country’s overall development.
They also lauded the prudent leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in different international forums specially for addressing the climate change issues.
Speaking on the occasion, Sheikh Hasina recalled the Japanese assistance to rebuild the war-ravaged Bangladesh. She expressed her gratitude to the Japanese people as well as government for helping Bangladesh’s freedom loving people during the country’s War of Liberation in 1971.
The delegation included Vice-President of Japan-Bangladesh Cultural Association Madame Konoe, Former Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Masaki Inoue, General Secretary of Japan-Bangladesh Ladies Cultural Association Ms. Nara, Organiser of Support for Bangladesh Liberation War Prof. Nara and Director of NHK Bangla Service Watanabe.
Finance Minister A M A Muhith, Foreign Minister Dr. Dipu Moni, Prime Minister’s Advisers Prof. Dr Alauddin Ahmed and Dr Moshiur Rahman, Ambassador-At-Large M Ziauddin, Principal Secretary M Abdul Karim, Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad and Bangladesh Ambassador to Japan A K M Majibur Rahman Bhuiyan were present on the occasion.
Earlier, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was given a heartiest welcome as she arrived here this morning on a five-day official visit to Japan.
Bangladesh Ambassador to Japan AKM Majibur Rahman Bhuiyan and Japanese Ambassador in Dhaka Tomotsu Shinotsuka received the Prime Minister at Narita International Airport at 10.05 am (local time).
High officials of the Japanese Foreign Ministry and Bangladesh Embassy as well as local Awami League leaders and workers and a large number of Bangladeshis living in Japan were present at the airport.
The streets of the Japanese capital Tokyo were tastefully decorated with Bangladesh and Japanese flags and placards with portraits of the Prime Ministers of both the countries on the occasion.
After arrival at the airport, the Prime Minister straight drove to the New Otani Hotel, where she will be staying during her five-day tour of Japan.
Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith and advisers to the Prime Minister Dr Mashiur Rahman and Dr Alauddin Ahmed and Executive Chairman of Board of Investment Syed Abdus Samad and other entourage members of the Premier welcomed Sheikh Hasina at the hotel.
The maiden visit to Japan by Bangladesh’s premier after taking office for the second time is considered “significant” from diplomatic point of view as Dhaka and Tokyo termed the tour “timely and important” for promoting bilateral cooperation, especially in economic sector.