September 9, 2014

From September 6 to 8, Mrs. Akie Abe, the Spouse of the Prime Minister of Japan, paid visits to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

1 Bangladesh (September 6)

(1) Visit to Baptist Mission Integrated School (BIMS)


Mrs. Abe was warmly welcomed by Ms. Momota Bairagee, the Principal, Ms. Mizuki Kozakura, Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer (JOCV) and the students of Baptist Mission Integrated School (BMIS), which was founded in 1977 for providing blind and weak-sighted girls with inclusive education from elementary to high school level in Mirpur, Dhaka. Mrs. Abe enjoyed having a conversation with students, listening students' singing and participating in handicraft classes in a friendly atmosphere.

(2) Visit to Dhaka Nursing College

Mrs. Abe also visited Dhaka Nursing College, which leads nursing education in Bangladesh with 428 students, and has first started four-year curriculum in the country. After a briefing by Mrs. Ira Dibra, the Principal of the college, Mrs. Abe encouraged the students by visiting training laboratories of primary oral health care and having exchange of views with them.

2 Sri Lanka (September 7)

(1) Visit to Carlton Pre-School in Colombo

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Mrs. Abe visited Carlton Pre-School in Colombo with Mrs. Shiranthi Rajapaksa, the Spouse of the President of Sri Lanka. Mrs. Rajapaksa is the Founder-Principal of the Carlton Pre-Schools located around the country. At Colombo school, there are 650 children aged 2 and a half to 5.

(2) Attendance at the Opening Ceremony of Shine Weeks and visit to Showcase of Products by Women Entrepreneurs


Mrs. Abe attended the opening ceremony of Shine Weeks and visited an exhibition of various products such as accessories, handicraft, and agricultural products produced by women entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka, together with Mrs. Rajapaksa.

(Reference) "Shine Weeks"
The period before and after WAW! Tokyo 2014[Note] has been positioned as the Shine Weeks and a series of women-related events for a "Society where Women Shine" were held by groups including relevant government ministries and agencies, local governments, citizen groups, and schools and student organisations.
[Note] "World Assembly for Women in Tokyo (WAW! Tokyo 2014)"
Held in Tokyo from September 12 to 14, WAW! Tokyo 2014 was attended by around 100 top leaders active in the field of gender issues from Japan and countries around the world, including Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The event featured discussions on promoting women's engagement in economic and global challenges and empowerment.

(3) Presentation of "Akie Library"


Mrs. Abe, in the presence of Mrs. Rajapaksa, presented the "Akie Book Collection" to Japanese learners at 3 universities (University of Kelaniya, Sabaragamuwa University and Rajarata University) and Japanese Language Educational Association of Sri Lanka (Sasakawa Centre).

(Reference) "Akie Book Collection"
Mrs. Abe, with the cooperation of relevant organizations, donates Japan-related books and Japanese language teaching materials to educational institutions and other entities that hold Japanese language and Japanese culture classes in the countries she visits, in the hope that it will encourage further exchanges and promotion of Japanese language learning and Japanese culture in those countries.

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