Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday (04) assured his fullest support and that of his Government to Sri Lanka, during talks with visiting Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
The two leaders met in Kyoto on the sidelines of the International Conference on Science and Technology. While identifying Sri Lanka as one of Japan’s closest friends over a long period, Prime Minister Abe assured that his Government will stand by and assist Sri Lanka when facing any future challenges.
During talks both leaders agreed to form a high-level committee to prepare a joint programme in order to further strengthen political, cultural, economic and relations in all other areas between the two countries.
Premier Abe said that he had no doubt the relationship between Japan and Sri Lanka which became very close under late President J. R. Jayewardene’s tenure, will grow closer under President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The Japanese Prime Minister said that he strongly believed Sri Lanka will achieve rapid progress in trade and technological areas and will become a key-hub in the Asian region.
Premier Abe also recalled the famous speech made by late President J. R. Jayewardene, referring to Japan at the San Francisco Conference in 1952, and added that it has left an indelible mark in the minds of the Japanese people.
Premier Abe told his Sri Lankan counterpart that Japan always remained committed to maintaining peace in the Indian Ocean region. The Japanese Prime Minister also congratulated Prime Minister Wickremesinghe on the latter’s recent election victory. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe in reply thanked the Japanese Prime Minister for inviting him to visit the country. He also extended greetings from President Maithripala Sirisena to Premier Abe.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe explained to Premier Abe the new political developments in the country including the effort taken by the two main political parties to come together on one platform to form a National Government. Premier Wickremesinghe explained that due to this culture of consensus politics it was his strong belief that the country could be on a much firmer footing when facing future challenges.
He also appreciated Japan’s continued assistance to Sri Lanka in all areas. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said that it was his strong belief that Japan will continue to play a crucial role in the regions development as well as global economic and political stability. The two leaders will meet again on Tuesday for bilateral talks.
Minister Susil Premajayantha, Secretary to the Prime Minister Saman Ekanayake, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Japan Prof. Ganganath Dissanayake, Additional Secretary to the Prime Minister Saman Athaudahetti and Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister Monty Cassim too participated.