Japan-Sri Lanka Relations

May 4, 2024
Foreign Minister Ms. KAMIKAWA is shaking hands with  Mr. M.U.M. Ali Sabry, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka
Foreign Minister Ms. KAMIKAWA is talking with  Mr. M.U.M. Ali Sabry, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka

On May 4, commencing at 1:55 p.m. (local time; 5:25 p.m. JST) for approximately 1 hour, Ms. KAMIKAWA Yoko, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, who is visiting the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, held a bilateral meeting with Hon. M.U.M. Ali Sabry, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. The overview is as follows.

  1. At the outset, Foreign Minister Sabry welcomed Minister Kamikawa's visit to Sri Lanka, and expressed his condolences to the victims of the Noto Peninsula Earthquake. Minister Sabry expressed his gratitude for the support from Japan so far, and stated that he would like to further strengthen the relationship between the two countries. In response, Minister Kamikawa expressed her gratitude for Foreign Minister Sabry’s message of sympathy for the damage caused by the Noto Peninsula Earthquake, and stated that the recent increase in the number of high-level visits is proof of the deepening of bilateral relations between the two countries and that she would do her utmost to strengthen the relationship between Japan and Sri Lanka.
  2. Minister Sabry welcomed the ongoing high-level visits between the two countries including two visits by President Wickramasinghe, and reiterated his appreciation for Japan's contribution to the discussions on debt restructuring. Minister Kamikawa commended the Sri Lankan government’s efforts in addressing the debt issues and promoting reforms. At the same time, Minister Kamikawa stated the importance of early signing of the memorandum of understanding on debt restructuring with the Official Creditor Committee and swift implementation of debt restructuring with all creditors in a transparent and comparable manner, as well as the need to work on anti-corruption measures and transparency in the policy making process in accordance with the agreement with the IMF. Minister Kamikawa also expressed Japan’s intention to further support Sri Lanka's development by swiftly resuming yen loans for existing projects once the MOU on debt restructuring is signed and the Sri Lankan government's intention to swiftly conclude a bilateral agreement is confirmed. Minister Sabry explained the recent economic situation in Sri Lanka, and stated that although the situation is gradually improving, Sri Lanka would continue to promote debt restructuring in a transparent manner. Minister Sabry expressed his appreciation for the policy of swift resumption of yen loans for existing projects.
  3. Regarding national reconciliation, Minister Kamikawa commended that the Sri Lankan government is making various efforts, and stated that Japan would also support such efforts. Foreign Minister Sabry explained the Sri Lankan government’s efforts aimed towards national reconciliation, and expressed his appreciation for Japan's cooperation.
  4. Minister Kamikawa stated that Sri Lanka is an important partner situated in a strategic location on the sea lanes in the Indian Ocean and Japan would like to actively work with Sri Lanka, the Chair of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), in order to achieve inclusive growth for the entire Indo-Pacific region. In relation to this, Minister Kamikawa conveyed that Japan intends to further strengthen cooperation in the maritime field with Sri Lanka, and in this regard, Japan has decided to offer a vessel equipped with a sonar to be used for compiling maritime chart. Minister Sabry stated that Sri Lanka is committed to continue contributing to the peace and stability in the Indian Ocean.
  5. At the Foreign Minister’s Meeting, Minister Kamikawa presented a Wajima-nuri lacquerware pen to Foreign Minister Sabry as a token of hope for the recovery of the areas affected by the Noto Peninsula Earthquake. Minister Sabry expressed his gratitude, saying that he would like to use the pen with the people in the affected areas in mind.
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