With Ranil as PM, fresh impetus to boost Sri Lanka-Japan ties

Saturday, 14 May 2022 01:15 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Japanese Ambassador Mizukoshi Hideaki with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe during their meeting yesterday


  • Japanese Ambassador Mizukoshi Hideaki among first diplomats to pay courtesy call soon after Wickremesinghe assumed duties
  • Duo discuss new ways to enhance economic cooperation; Japan assures fresh financial assistance
  • Separately private Japanese foundation conveys to PM commitment to invest $ 4 b; help source urgent fuel, food and medicine

Friendly relations between Japan and Sri Lanka are to get a fresh boost, following the appointment of Ranil Wickremesinghe as the new Prime Minister, sources said. 

Japanese Ambassador Mizukoshi Hideaki was among the first diplomats to call on the new Prime Minister after he assumed office yesterday. The duo discussed ways to further strengthen bilateral relations.

Japan has expressed commitment to extend whatever assistance Sri Lanka requires to overcome the current economic crisis.

Sources said the Government of Japan has in principle agreed to grant fresh financial assistance whilst a private Japanese foundation has committed to invest 500 billion yen (approximately $ 4 billion) as well.

This private foundation is ready to purchase from the international markets several urgently needed commodities such as petrol, diesel, fertilisers, essential medicine and equipment, and food currently in severe shortage. The gesture is to help alleviate the burdens the Sri Lankan people are currently going through and solve the foreign currency crisis.

Sources said an order for 120,000 metric tons of diesel and 50,000 metric tons of urea has already been placed to the international suppliers by the Japanese private foundation along with its local partners.

On Thursday, soon after being sworn in as the Prime Minister by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Wickremesinghe told the media that reviving the economy and ensuring people enjoy three meals a day and ending shortage of electricity, petrol, diesel, LPG and food was a priority.

“We can’t do it alone but need help from other countries,” Wickremesinghe added.