Dhaka, Oct 17 (UNB) – Newly-appointed Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Naoki Ito on Thursday reaffirmed his country’s support for the early repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar in a safe, voluntary and dignified manner under UN cooperation.
“I express our determination to continue extending necessary support to the government of Bangladesh with a view to realising the early repatriation of the displaced persons to Myanmar,” said Ambassador Ito in a message taking over his responsibility officially.
The Japanese Ambassador expressed his “utmost respect” to the government of Bangladesh for generously accepting and protecting the displaced persons in Cox’s Bazar.
Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas and most of them entered Cox’s Bazar since August 25, 2017 amid military crackdown on them.
Bangladesh has so far handed over names of over 1 lakh Rohingyas to the Myanmar authorities for verification and subsequently expediting their repatriation efforts but Myanmar is yet to take back its nationals from Bangladesh.
The Japanese Ambassador said he, on behalf of the government of Japan, is dedicated to serving as a bridge between Bangladesh and Japan for further enhancing bilateral relations.
The envoy mentioned about the important years ahead -- the 100th birth anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 2020 along with the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s Independence in 2021 and the 50th anniversary of Japan-Bangladesh diplomatic relations in 2022.
Ambassador Ito said he will continue to work for strengthening cultural and people-to-people relations with Bangladesh in the “rapidly-changing” society here. “My sincere hope is our works will lead to deeper mutual understanding and closer relationship between our two nations.”
The envoy expressed his sincere “sympathy and respect” to Japanese nationals who fell victim in terror attacks in 2015 and 2016.
“I’ll devote myself to ensuring a safe and secure environment for Japanese citizens in close cooperation with the government of Bangladesh,” he said adding that he feels “honoured and humbled” to take the task of representing Japan in Bangladesh.
Ito said Bangladesh is now on a historical stage of opportunity for development and its GDP growth rate in the past 10 years marked as one of the highest in the world.
“With a young and diligent population, Bangladesh has prominent potential of growth. This year, the amount of Official Development Assistance to Bangladesh from Japan counts around two hundred seventy-five billion yen, which is equivalent to 2.5 billion US dollars,” said the Ambassador.
Bangladesh is now the second largest recipient of Japan’s ODA in the world in FY 2017, and Japan, the Ambassador said, will continue to be the biggest bilateral development partner for Bangladesh.
With the expectation of increase in trade and investment, the Sonar Bangla attracts around 300 Japanese companies operating in Bangladesh, said the Japanese envoy.
“I hope that we, Embassy of Japan, will be of help at any time they are in need with the aim of improving Bangladeshi business environment,” he said.