State Minister for Cultural Affairs K M Khalid has said Bangladesh can learn from the miraculous development of Japan - how this country developed from the ashes after World War II.
He was speaking as the chief guest at the launching ceremony of a new book titled "Bangladesh-Japan Diplomatic Relations (1972-2022): A New Paradigm of Strategic Partnership" held at the residence of the Japanese Ambassador on Tuesday evening.
The book is written by Dr. Md. Jahangir Alam, Associate Professor of the first ever area studies department at the University of Dhaka—Department of Japanese Studies.
Professor Dr A S M Maksud Kamal, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Academic) joined the ceremony as special guest.
Professor Dr. Delwar Hossain, Member of Bangladesh Public Service Commission and Professor of International Relations, University of Dhaka spoke as the discussant.
The State Minister said the book has stressed upon the present relation and the future direction of the relations between these two friendly nations.
"This is a great book. This is a very rare academic work focusing on bilateral relations. I would say, very historic academic work," said Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ito Naoki.
He described the book as a historic mark in academia considering the 50 years of Bangladesh-Japan diplomatic relations.
Naoki also predicted it to be highly influential for future academics.
"It's a great day for me," said Dr Jahangir Alam, the author of the book.
Delwar Hossain said this book covers contemporary issues particularly from the perspective of political science, international relations, etc.
"It has a comprehensive focus which is the strongest part of this book. It has a comprehensive focus on Bangladesh-Japan relations," he said.
Prof Maksud Kamal said Japan is the number one bilateral development partner of Bangladesh which is helping Bangladesh implement some most significant megaprojects including the Matarbari deep sea port, MRT line in Dhaka, and third terminal of the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.
The ceremony was presided over by Dr Abdullah-Al-Mamun, Chairman of the Department of Japanese Studies, University of Dhaka.
He mentioned that this is one of the rarest academic endeavours in the field of bilateral relations between the two nations.
The main objective of the book is to explore and examine the Japan-Bangladesh comprehensive relations to understand Japan’s miraculous development models and apply them in Bangladesh’s development policy initiatives and planning to achieve the SDGs by 2030 and ‘Vision 2041’.
The chapters of the book attempt to make a comparative study among the South Asian countries with relevant policy recommendations for further improvement of the said bilateral relations.
However, asymmetric in nature, many academia and a cross-section of people in Bangladesh believe that the Japanese economic development model should be replicated in Bangladesh.
To explore those possibilities, a couple of chapters of this book revisited Bangladesh-Japan’s comprehensive diplomatic relations since the former’s independence would simultaneously strengthen the bilateral relations between the two nations.