Japan-Bangladesh Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and Dinner
July 30, 2019
On Tuesday, July 30, commencing at 7:15 p.m. (local time; same day 10:15 p.m. JST) for approximately 70 minutes, Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, on the occasion of his visit to the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, held a Japan-Bangladesh Foreign Ministers’ Meeting with H.E. Dr. A.K. Abdul Momen, Foreign Minister of Bangladesh. The overview of the meeting is as follows. The meeting was followed by a dinner hosted by Minister Momen.
1 Opening Remarks
(1) Minister Momen stated the following.
“I welcome your third visit to Bangladesh. I have been looking forward to our first Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. I would like to express my congratulations on the beginning of the era of Reiwa. Prime Minister Hasina’s visit to Japan this May was successful. Bangladesh intends to further promote our Comprehensive Partnership. President Hamid will attend the Ceremony of the Enthronement of His Majesty the Emperor in October. We seek to further strengthen the bilateral relationship.”
(2) Minister Kono stated the following.
“This is my third visit to Bangladesh. It is a pleasure to hold the first Foreign Ministers’ Meeting with Minister Momen. Japan intends to keep promoting Japan-Bangladesh Comprehensive Partnership, as a friend ever since Bangladesh gained independence, and will closely collaborate with Bangladesh to deepen the bilateral relationship. I would like to express my sympathies to the damages caused by the disaster in Bangladesh during the monsoon season.”
2 Minister Kono, touching upon the Japan-Bangladesh Summit Meeting in May 2019 during which the leaders shared views at a free and open Indo-Pacific (FOIP), conveyed Japan’s intention to work with Bangladesh to promote principles such as freedom of navigation, rule of law, and market economy, noting that FOIP will contribute to the sustainable growth of Bangladesh. Minister Momen stated that Bangladesh will cooperate with Japan on realizing a free, peaceful, and harmonious Indo-Pacific region.
3 The Ministers shared that Bangladesh has achieved remarkable economic growth, resulting in a significant need for development of economic and social infrastructure, and that the number of Japanese companies operating in Bangladesh increased by 1.5 times in the past five years. The Ministers confirmed to cooperate on further promoting bilateral trade and investment. Minister Kono stated that Japan will continue to extend supports for enhancing connectivity through quality infrastructure, including infrastructure building projects under the Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth Belt (BIG-B) initiative, such as the Matarbari Port Development and Dhaka Urban Transportation Development Projects. Minister Momen expressed appreciation for the economic cooperation of the Government of Japan over many years, while underscoring the importance of strengthening bilateral economic relations.
4 With regard to the terrorist attack in Dhaka three years ago, Minister Kono hoped that the trial which began in December 2018 will enable us to find out the fact of the attack, and requested further efforts for ensuring the safety of Japanese nationals in the country, including those engaged in ODA projects. In response, Minister Momen stated that the Government of Bangladesh will continue to make efforts to ensure the safety of Japanese nationals and Japanese companies.
5 Concerning people-to-people exchanges, the Ministers welcomed the progress made towards the signing of a memorandum of cooperation on “Specified Skilled Workers” and the decision by the Government of Bangladesh to resume direct flights between Dhaka and Japan.
6 Minister Kono conveyed his concerns over the prolonged displacement of people from Rakhine State, Myanmar. Minister Kono also highly appriciated the Government of Bangladesh for generously accepting and sheltering the displaced persons and its efforts to continuouse dialogues to solve the issue. Minister Kono reiterated that Japan will continue to support efforts for the early repatriation of the displaced persons to Myanmar in safe, voluntary, and dignified mannar, as well as support the efforts of Bangladesh for reduce the burden of host communities. In response, Minister Momen provided a detailed explanation of the current situation of the issue, appreciated the understanding and support of the Government of Japan, and asked Japan to continue to urge the Government of Myanmar to achieve the early repatriation of displaced persons. The Ministers shared the view that the two countries will continue to coordinate closely on this issue.
7 The Ministers exchanged views regarding issues such as United Nations Security Council reform and North Korea.