Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday sought Japan’s support for an early voluntary and sustainable repatriation of forcibly displaced Rohingyas to their homeland Myanmar as Dhaka and Tokyo share common views on resolving the crisis.
“We seek Japan’s support for an early voluntary, safe and sustainable repatriation of these displaced (Rohingyas) people back to their ancestral homes in Myanmar,” she said.
In the time of celebrating the 50th anniversary of establishment of Bangladesh-Japan diplomatic relations, the Premier in a pre-recorded video message also opined that importantly, both the countries share common views on resolving the crisis of forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar’s Rakhine State.
She said Bangladesh and Japan as trusted partners and peace-loving nations, both have always worked in supporting one another in international forums to promote global peace, progress, prosperity, stability and sustainable development.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Japanese Embassy in Dhaka jointly organized a function marking the golden jubilee of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
Sheikh Hasina said the two countries have been enjoying excellent relations since Bangladesh’s independence in 1971 and Japan’s early recognition on 10 February, 1972.
Mentioning that Japan was among the first few countries to open a resident diplomatic mission in Dhaka, she said “our people remember with gratitude the precious support and contributions of Japan and its people, particularly school-children, during our War of Liberation.”
She said the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Japan is based on mutual trust, respect, friendship and cooperation.
Referring to the historic visit of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to Japan in October, 1973 that set the tone of the bilateral relation, she said “It laid the foundation of a steadfast and lasting friendship.”
She continued that for her, it was an honor to carry on her father’s legacy and visit Japan in 1992, 1997, 2010, 2014, 2016 and 2019 to further strengthen the two countries’ relations.
“I am happy today to note that our time-tested friendship has evolved in depth and dimension,” she said, adding, “so much so that our ‘Comprehensive Partnership’ is now poised to be raised to ‘Strategic Partnership’ in the near future.”
She also acknowledged the sustained economic cooperation and support of Japan.
The Prime Minister said “I am heartened by the increased Japanese investment in various sectors in Bangladesh. I notice with delight that Japanese companies find the investment climate attractive in Bangladesh, and are ready to invest.”
She said the logo of the 50th Anniversary celebration symbolizes the mood of “Bangladesh-Japan Friendly Relations”. It reflects the two countries’ celebrating this milestone year in a befitting manner with many events, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, she added.
Sheikh Hasina also said that she must thank the government and the people of Japan for their assistance to face the pandemic.
She said “As I view our two countries’ bilateral relations today, I see so much opportunities for enhancement. Indeed, mutual initiatives are imperative to avail these opportunities.”
As Bangladesh strives to be a prosperous, developed country and Father of the Nation’s “Sonar Bangla” or “Golden Bangladesh”, the Premier said, “Our last fifty years of enviable cooperation would remain an inspiration for the coming fifty years.”
She added “Bangladesh is firm to engage with time-tested friend Japan for mutually beneficial gains.”
Expressing her happiness in joining the celebration of the auspicious 50th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations of Bangladesh and Japan, Sheikh Hasina wished all the events celebrating the auspicious occasion.
Together with the Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida, on this historical occasion, she warmly congratulated the people of the two friendly countries.
The Prime Minister also expressed her gratitude to the Emperor and Empress of Japan on their appreciation of this important occasion.
In this connection, she also recalled her meeting with Emperor Emeritus Akihito, and congratulated him on becoming Japan's longest living emperor at 88 years of age.