Japan’s leaders underscore vibrancy of relations with Sri Lanka

Friday, 6 July 2012 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Japanese leaders, expressing goodwill and understanding, assured Sri Lanka’s Minister of External Affairs, Professor G.L.Peiris, at a series of bilateral meetings in Tokyo that the Sri Lanka- Japan relationship is as vibrant as ever.

Minister G.L Peiris with  Ambassador Akashi

At his meeting with Japan’s Special Envoy Yasushi Akashi, Minister Peiris surveyed with Ambassador Akashi a variety of ways in which Japan could be of particular assistance to Sri Lanka at this time in carrying forward the process of development and reconciliation, currently in place, after the end of the conflict.  Ambassador Akashi, who had been visiting Sri Lanka from time to time over a long period, expressed his appreciation of the opportunity for an authoritative briefing on contemporary developments in the country.  Professor Peiris explained to him the convictions underpinning the main initiatives by President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government in recent months and the progress already achieved over the whole spectrum of issues relating to rehabilitation and reconstruction.  He also informed Ambassador Akashi of the Government’s thinking with regard to priorities, and the course of action to be followed in the near future.  Mr. Akashi stressed Japan’s continuing interest in, and commitment to, the wellbeing of Sri Lanka, and the availability of Japan’s good offices for appropriate initiatives by Sri Lanka.

Minister Peiris had discussions in Japan’s Parliament with Mr. Yasuo Fukuda, former Prime Minister of Japan.  Mr. Fukuda had visited Sri Lanka to participate with President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the opening of the Cultural Museum, a gift by the Government of Japan, in Sigiriya and to preside over the meeting of the Asian Parliamentary Association for Population and Development in Colombo last year.  He asserted Japan’s strong friendship and goodwill and the readiness of his country to offer assistance requested by Sri Lanka.

Prof. Peiris addressed, as a keynote speaker, the inaugural session of the World Ministerial Conference on Disaster Reduction opened by Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda in Sendai, a city devastated by the tsunami last year.

The Minister also spoke at the prestigious National Press Club of Japan and led a question and answer session, which followed.

On the previous day, Minister Peiris had bilateral discussions in Tokyo with Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada, Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba and Education, Science and Technology Minister Hirofumi Hirano.

He was interviewed by Kyodo News on national and international issues.