Japanese vice foreign minister wraps up eventful business trip to Bangladesh

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TBS report

July 26, 2022, 7:30 PM

Last modification: July 26, 2022, 7:38 PM

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Japanese Parliamentary Deputy Foreign Minister Honda Taro visited Bangladesh from July 21 to 25 to strengthen bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Japan.

During the visit, he paid a courtesy visit to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen together with Jica Chairman Tanaka Akihiko.

They also visited the Jica-funded Matarbari power station project, the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar and attended a memorial ceremony in honor of the victims of Holey Artisan involved in the MRT project.

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On Friday, July 22, Honda Taro visited the Matarbari development project during his business trip to Bangladesh, reads a press release from the Japanese Embassy.

In the Matarbari area, a deep-water port is being developed by Japan’s ODA, and an ultra-supercritical pressure coal-fired power plant is also under construction.

This port is the only deep water port in the country with a water depth of -16m, which is designed to accommodate the use of large container ships with a draft of -14.5m.

The port of Chattogram, the largest port in the country, is experiencing a rapid increase in container cargo and facing overcapacity, which is why the deep-sea port of Matarbari plans to build a container terminal and a multi-purpose terminal to handle LNG and other cargoes in the future. .

Honda was accompanied by Jica President Dr. Tanaka Akihiko and Ambassador Ito Naoki. Honda stressed that the significance and importance of the Matarbari development project and that Japan will continue its support to Bangladesh.

On July 23, Taro also paid an official visit to the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar, home to more than 920,000 displaced people from Rakhine State, Myanmar.

He was accompanied by Ambassador Naoki, Dr. Tanaka Akihiko and Hayakawa Yuho, Chief Representative of Jica Bangladesh, who joined the one-day mission.

The delegations visited the UNHCR jute bag factory, a WFP e-voucher outlet, an IOM water distribution point and the Japanese Red Cross health post.

Since the big influx in August 2017, Japan has contributed more than $170 million to various interventions in Cox’s Bazar as well as Bhasan Char through international organizations and NGOs.

These aids included food aid, health care, WASH, shelter, protection and gender.

Witnessing the ongoing activities in the rainy field, Honda said, “It was impressive to see the various interventions on the ground, as well as the real environment where the displaced people live. I was also touched that displaced people were actively engaged in service. delivery to many project sites.”

As the crisis enters its sixth year, it is essential to hold the attention of the global community, as multiple emergencies occur in different parts of the world.

Acknowledging the difficulty in responding, Honda noted, “The Japanese government will further cooperate with relevant agencies to improve the living conditions of displaced people in Cox’s Bazar and Bhasan Char as well as with host communities.

“Japan will also work towards safe, voluntary and dignified repatriation to Myanmar. Finding lasting solutions to this crisis will be conducive to our quest for a ‘free and open Indo-Pacific,'” he added.

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He also attended the “Memorial Ceremony for Members of the Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project Preparatory Study” in memory of the victims of the Holey Artisan Bakery terrorist attack in 2016, which was organized by Jica and the Ministry of Roads, Transport. and bridges in Bangladesh on Sunday.

The monument to the memory of the seven victims of the tragic terrorist attack was built at the exhibition and information center for urban railways.

The monument was erected by the relevant consulting firms and Jica in May 2022.

Obaidul Quader, Minister of Road Transport and Bridges, also attended the ceremony, representing the Government of Bangladesh.

In the presence of Dr. Tanaka Akihiko, Ambassador Ito Naoki and representatives of consulting firms, Honda read messages on behalf of KISHIDA Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan, and Hayashi Yoshimasa, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

In addition, Ambassador Ito read a message from ASO Taro, Chairman of the Japan-Bangladesh Parliamentary Friendship Association.

During the ceremony, participants pledged to take security measures in ODA projects and prevent the recurrence of such a tragic incident.

After the ceremony, the participants offered flowers to the monument.

Prior to the ceremony, Honda and Ambassador Ito visited the Dhaka Metro (MRT) depot and were briefed by relevant companies.

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