Japan-Sri Lanka Relations
Japan-Sri Lanka Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
On Friday, January 5, from 1:00 p.m. (local time) for approximately 90 minutes, Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs, on his visit to Sri Lanka, held a meeting over lunch with the Hon. Tilak Marapana, Foreign Minister for the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. The overview is as follows.
- Minister Kono, noting that his visit to Sri Lanka is the first by a Japanese foreign minister in approximately 15 years, stated that Japan places utmost importance on its relationship with Sri Lanka which is located in a strategic point on the Indian Ocean Sea Lanes and seeks to further enhance bilateral relations. Minister Marapana welcomed the visit by Minister Kono and stated that Sri Lanka also seeks to strengthen bilateral relations.
- Minister Kono explained Japan's Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy and expressed his hope to further enhance cooperation in the areas of maritime, security and defense with Sri Lanka, which is at the center of the strategy. He stated that Japan seeks to further promote infrastructure development cooperation to strengthen connectivity of ports and emphasized the importance of openness, transparency and economic viability, as well as financial soundness of the recipient country in the area of infrastructure development. In response, Minister Marapana stated that under the Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy proposed by Japan, it is important to ensure freedom of navigation and Sri Lanka seeks to further promote cooperation with Japan in the areas of maritime, security and defense. Minister Marapana hopes for further cooperation in infrastructure development in order to strengthen connectivity.
- Minister Kono stated that Japan will enhance cooperation towards the improvement of social infrastructure, including in the areas of environment, terrestrial digital broadcasting and the national reconciliation process. In response, Minister Marapana expressed appreciation for Japan's assistance to date and expressed his hope for further assistance in various areas.
- Minister Kono explained the importance of maximizing pressure on North Korea, including through the full implementation of relevant UNSC resolutions, and the early resolution of the abductions issue. Minister Marapana stated that Sri Lanka supports Japan's position on North Korea and will implement relevant UNSC resolutions.