Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Sunday said he is not worried about the election-related remarks made by Japanese Ambassador Ito Naoki, noting that evil people may take advantage of his simplicity.
“He (Naoki) is a simple and good person. He is a good friend of Bangladesh. We are not worried about his remarks,” Momen said while responding to a question after attending an international workshop organized by Association of Surgeons for Sleep Apnoea, Bangladesh in a Dhaka hotel.
Regarding the postponement of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s planned visit to Japan, the Foreign Minister said that Bangladesh postponed the visit considering a number issues, including “instability” within the Japanese government.
Momen said three influential cabinet members of Japan have resigned recently and they have heard that there will be some proposals in the Japanese parliament regarding Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
“Japan is ready to welcome us… but he (Japanese PM) remains very busy (with internal affairs),” said the foreign minister, adding that mandatory quarantine due to Covid-19 related restrictions is another reason behind the decision.
A big business delegation was scheduled to accompany Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to focus on trade and investment issues while Bangladesh will get exemption for only 10 members.
It was a two-day visit but it does not make sense if most of the delegation members remain stuck in hotels due to quarantine, Momen said.
He said Bangladesh received the invitation more than two years ago but the visit could not materialise due to Covid-19 pandemic.
The Japanese side put emphasis on finalisation of the visit again when Foreign Minister Momen visited Japan in September this year.
“We wanted to go to Japan this time. They requested us repeatedly. It was finalised. But considering all these things, we have postponed it,” Momen said, adding that the Prime Minister will surely go to Japan as Bangladesh has deep relations with the country.
Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ito Naoki said they will continue to work for the visit because that is “beneficial” for the two countries.
He hoped that the visit would elevate the partnership between Bangladesh and Japan to a new height. “We still have big rooms for our development, partnership and cooperation.”
Naoki said Bangladesh and Japan need to develop a partnership for the peace, stability and development of the entire Indo-Pacific region.
Responding to another question, Momen said Bangladesh has a solid economy and expressed displeasure over some media reports related to the economy describing those as “propaganda.”