Japanese Minister praises Sri Lanka’s commitment to Indian Ocean peace and maritime security.

Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs Takei Shunsuke called on Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena today (03) at the Temple Trees to discuss cooperation between the two countries and areas of possible future cooperation.

Mr Shunsuke, who has arrived in Colombo to participate at the 75th Independence Day celebrations, offered warm greetings to Sri Lanka on this important milestone. The Prime Minister thanked the State Minister for the Japanese long-standing assistance to Sri Lanka. Japan has provided US $ 3 million humanitarian assistance last year to procure essential medicines and food through UNICEF and the World Food Programme.

Premier Gunawardena briefed the Japanese Minister on the efforts made to face the economic crisis and they examined how Japan could further assist in this process. The Prime Minister thanked Japan for taking a leading role to engage with major lenders to Sri Lanka in order to find an acceptable loan restructuring formula.

He said that Sri Lanka remains open to explore opportunities to further deepening and widening of bilateral relations, not only by greater trade and investment cooperation, but also in the areas of infrastructure, transport, electronics, fishing, agriculture and renewable energy. He also stressed the need for promotion of cultural exchanges to the mutual benefit of the two peoples.

Mr. Takei Shunsuke praised Sri Lanka’s commitment to Indian Ocean regions peace and maritime security. He said Japan, as a victim of nuclear attacks, condemn and provocative actions by any nation that could result in a nuclear disaster. Prime Minister Gunawardena said Sri Lanka stand for peaceful solution to any conflict between the nations and is vehemently opposed to use of nuclear weapons.

State Ministers Janaka Wakkumbura and Ashoka Priyantha, Parliamentarian Yadamini Gunawardena, Ambassador of Japan Mizukoshi Hideaki, Secretary to the Prime Minister, Anura Dissanayake and Additional Secretary Mahinda Gunaratne, Director, Executive Assistant to State Minister, Ando Toshiaki and Directors of Southwest Asia Division of Japanese Foreign Ministry, Tsutsumi Taro and Tokita Yuji, were also present during the meeting