November 30, 2020, 5:12 pm

FT Online

2020-01-21 17:30:20 BdST

Japan ready to help resolve Rohingya crisis, its envoy tells Hasina

Newly-appointed Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Naoki Ito on Monday said Japan is ready to extend any kind of assistance in resolving Rohingya crisis as the country wants a sustainable solution to the problem.

He said this when he made a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her Jatiya Sangsad office in the evening.

PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.

“Japan is ready to extend any kind of assistance to resolve the Rohingya issue... Japan wants a sustainable solution to the Rohingya problem,” the Japanese Ambassador was quoted as saying.

During the meeting, the Prime Minister expressed the fear that anti-social elements would rise in the case of prolonged stay of the forcibly-displaced Rohingyas in Bangladesh.

She said the residents of Cox’s Bazar are suffering a lot due to the presence of Rohingyas.

About Japan-Bangladesh relationship, Hasina said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman led the foundation of the relations between the two countries.

The Japanese envoy said Bangladesh is the longest and largest development partner of Japan, and Japan wants smooth and speedy implementation of the projects taken by them (Japan in Bangladesh).

Naoki Ito said Bangladesh is a good destination of investment. “We hope to elevate further the level of cooperation between the two friendly countries,” he said.

The Japanese envoy said they want to increase the exchange of visits by politicians and parliamentarians between the two countries.

In this context, the Prime Minister said lands are there for Japanese entrepreneurs in two special economic zones in Araihazar (Narayanganj) and Gazipur. “Japanese entrepreneurs can build their industries as per their needs,” she was quoted as saying.

Hasina said three seaports -- Chattogram, Mongla and Payra -- will be modernised.

The Prime Minister said 310 Japanese companies are now working in Bangladesh.

She recalled the long relations of Bangladesh with Japan as the country has been providing assistance to the development of Bangladesh since the latter’s independence.

She also recalled that Japan extended its assistance to Bangladesh when Bangabandhu was rebuilding the war-torn country.

The Prime Minister appreciated Japan for its engagement in different development projects in Bangladesh.

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