The visit by External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris and Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa to Japan from July 26-30 is expected to help further enhance the strong and friendly relations between the two countries.
Peiris and Rajapaksa have met with the Japanese Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Seiji Maehara and Former Prime Minister of Japan and Honorary President of the Japan – Sri Lanka Association, Yasuo Fukuda.
The External Affairs Ministry stated that during their meeting with Maehara, the External Affairs and Economic Development Ministers have stated that as Sri Lanka has entered a period of peace and political stability, there were opportunities now available in Sri Lanka for rapid economic development after the eradication of terrorism.
The two Ministers have stated that Japanese companies have a vigorous role to play in the development of infrastructure in a variety of fields including highways, irrigation systems, power and energy, and the health sector.
In particular, they had described the dramatic growth of tourism in the country and the substantial investment which is currently being made in the expansion of the hotel sector and the upgrading of facilities in Sri Lanka. Minister Maehara was also apprised of the details pertaining to the resettlement of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and the efforts made for the restoration of their livelihoods.
Minister Maehara has in turn congratulated President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Government of Sri Lanka on the eradication of terrorism and pledged the continuing co-operation of the new Government of Japan in respect of the invigoration of Sri Lanka’s economy at this crucial time, in keeping with the spirit of friendship and goodwill which has characterized the relationship between Sri Lanka and Japan over the decades.
He has also stated that the Government of Japan will ensure that the Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) will be continuously extended to Sri Lanka in the fields of infrastructure and tourism.
Ministers Peiris and Rajapaksa have also extended an invitation to Maehara to visit Sri Lanka.
Thereafter, Yasuo Fukuda, Former Prime Minister of Japan and Honorary President of the Japan – Sri Lanka Association had received the two visiting Sri Lankan Ministers in Tokyo.