The Japanese printmaking exhibition "Photographic Images and Matter: Japanese Prints of the 1970s," which began recently, is still underway at the Liberation War Museum in Dhaka. Divided into two sections, the exhibition is showcasing "The Age of Photographic Images," and "Images of Autonomous Matter," giving visitors a sense of Japanese art trends in the 1970s. The two-week exhibition is displaying the award-winning works of 14 distinguished printmakers and professors from Japan. It is also presenting a wide range of palettes, styles, and traditions of Japanese printmaking. The exhibition is jointly organised by the Embassy of Japan in Bangladesh and the Japan Foundation. Read: Japan Foundation print exhibition to be held at Liberation War Museum State Minister for Culture KM Khalid inaugurated the exhibition recently. Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ito Naoki was present. During the opening ceremony, Ambassador Naoki conferred the Japanese foreign minister's commendation to Professor Syed Abul Barq Alvi of the Department of Printmaking of the University of Dhaka for his contribution to printmaking and role in promoting Bangladesh-Japan ties. The exhibition will continue till September 29.
Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ito Naoki visited Cox's Bazar to attend the handover ceremony of ambulances provided to NGO Friendship by Japan through the Grant Assistance for Grass-roots Human Security Projects (GGHSP). "The Project for Provision of Emergency Ambulance Services in Ukhiya, Cox's Bazar District" is expected to help improve the medical infrastructure and medical environment by installing three ambulances at the Rohingya camps in Ukhiya, Cox's Bazar. Kazi Golam Rasul, senior director and head of health of Friendship, Md Mamunur Rashid, deputy commissioner of Cox's Bazar, and Md Shamsud Doza, additional refugee relief and repatriation commissioner, attended the ceremony. "I hope these ambulances will save the lives and help improve the medical environment of the Rohingya camps," Ambassador Ito said. The GGHSP began in 1989 and has been contributing to social development at the grassroots level. To date, $16.25 million has been extended to 208 projects in Bangladesh including three projects at the Rohingya camps by Japan. Also read: Chuadanga: Ambulance received from India remains unused
Bangladesh and Japan can develop “ICT bridges” as the latter faces shortage of young ICT engineers, says a Japanese expert. “The two countries can support each other. I hope young Bangladeshis go to Japan and have some experience… It is not a one-way support,” Dr Kano Tsuyoshi, co-founder and CEO of ICT for Development (NPO), Japan, told UNB today. Responding to a question, Dr Kano, also an associate professor at Kanazawa Institute of Technology, Japan said he is eager to support young Bangladeshi ICT engineers. Read Present world is not of competition but collaboration: Palak While talking to this correspondent at Jatiya Press Club (JPC), the Japanese expert said digital human resources are one of the important factors for the ICT sector’s development in Bangladesh. “Digital human resources in Bangladesh can be ICT bridges between the country and Japan,” said the Japanese expert. He said if young Bangladeshi professionals go to Japan and come back to Bangladesh after 10 to 20 years, both countries will be benefitted. Dr Kano said Japan has a big challenge — shortage of ICT engineers — because it is becoming an “aging society” and the number of young people is inadequate. Read: Bangladesh gets drug, precursor test kits from Japan through UNODC “Young ICT engineers are not many in Japan,” he said, adding that in Bangladesh, many young people do not get jobs immediately after graduation, even in the ICT sector, due to lack of required skills. The Japanese expert said these two challenges — shortage of ICT engineers in Japan and shortage of good jobs in Bangladesh — can be addressed through cooperation and collaboration. Dr Kano, who is visiting Bangladesh at the invitation of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Japanese Embassy in Dhaka, is scheduled to leave Dhaka on Tuesday. Read IBBL ICT wing holds discussion, hosts iftar party He said both soft and hard skills can be obtained through global experiences and the two countries can make ICT business relationships stronger. The number of Japanese companies operating in Bangladesh has tripled in the past 10 years with an increased attention from ICT companies (offshoring, development center, recruitment, etc.). On Sunday, he delivered a lecture on “ICT Bridge between Bangladesh and Japan” at ICT Division, joined by more than 100 people – government officials, industry people and students. Read KUET partners with Huawei to set up ICT academy
Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ito Naoki and the delegates from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Thursday handed over drug and precursor test kits, funded by the government of Japan, to the Department of Narcotics Control (DNC). Naoki said Japan attaches great importance to the implementation of a "Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP)," a vision to secure peace, stability and prosperity in the region, "We will continue to work with Bangladesh to realise the vision through various practical cooperation, including the capacity building of law enforcement agencies." Md Abdul Wahab Bhuiyan, director general of the DNC, said Japan has been a time-tested friend and biggest development partner of Bangladesh and the country would like to continue to cooperate with Japan to strengthen its control capability of drug trafficking. Also read: BGB seizes drugs worth Tk 12 crore in Cox's Bazar
Data shows that migration from Bangladesh to Japan has significantly developed the character of personal relationships between Bangladeshis and Japanese, and some returnees have retained strong personal ties from the previous sojourn in Japan, according to a Japanese professor. "From the late 1980s, a considerable number of Bangladeshis started to go to Japan. Some of them have developed their families and remained in Japan, but many others have already returned home after their time in Japan," Tetsuo Mizukami, dean and professor of the College of Sociology and director of the Center for Statistics and Information at Rikkyo University, said. Read: Iran keen to enhance economic relations with Bangladesh: Envoy A Japanese team is now in Bangladesh to conduct research on Bangladeshis' migration pattern to Japan. This research project "Global Migration and Transnational Networks," commenced at the College of Sociology in 2014 April. Read: Kuwaiti envoy urged to explore investment opportunities in Bangladesh "We have been gathering empirical data by conducting questionnaire surveys and intensive interviews with these Bangladeshis who had lived in Japan and experienced Japanese social life for a long period, and have since returned to their homeland." The project seeks data about life at the grassroots level of relationships to develop a broader understanding of Bangladesh-Japan relationships, Tetsuo said.
Shinzo Abe, the former prime minister of Japan, was a true friend of Bangladesh, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said Thursday. Abe will forever be remembered for his contribution to regional and global peace, he added. Momen was speaking at a condolence programme organised by the Embassy of Japan in Bangladesh and Dhaka University (DU). The Department of Japanese Studies of DU and the Japanese Embassy in Dhaka in association with the Japan-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Japanese Universities Alumni Association of Bangladesh, Bangladesh Ikebana Association and Kazuko Bhuiyan Welfare Trust arranged the condolence programme "Tribute to Abe Shinzo" in Dhaka. Professor Md Akhtaruzzaman, vice-chancellor of DU, and Japanese Ambassador to Bangladeshi Ito Naoki also joined the event to pay tribute to Abe, Japan's best-known politician and longest-serving prime minister, who was gunned down while speaking at a political campaign event in the city of Nara. They conveyed their condolences to Abe and his family. Also read: Japan police chief to resign over Abe shooting death
Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ito Naoki has said it is "vital to consider third-country resettlement" in parallel to repatriation of the Rohingyas to their place of origin in Myanmar. “Accepting refugees through third-country resettlement is one of the permanent solutions. It is a way to share the burden of the refugee crisis among the international community,” said the ambassador. In December 2008, Japan decided upon a pilot programme to accept refugees from Myanmar through third-country resettlement as the first country in Asia. Until today, 54 families and 200 people, including Rohingya, were resettled through this scheme, said the ambassador. He hoped that they could consider further possibilities of Rohingyas’ resettlement in Japan with the guidance of UNHCR. Earlier, US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said as an essential component of an international, comprehensive humanitarian response, they are working to "significantly increase resettlement" of Rohingya refugees from the region, including from Bangladesh, so that they can rebuild their lives in the United States. Naoki said Japan, together with Bangladesh and the international community, will do its utmost to create conditions for safe, voluntary, dignified, and sustainable repatriation to Myanmar. Japanese envoy said his country will continue to actively provide humanitarian support, paying close attention to the needs of the Rohingya people facing challenging circumstances. He made the remarks while speaking at a seminar titled “Rohingya Crisis: The Pathways to Repatriation” hosted by the Centre for Genocide Studies (CGS), University of Dhaka on Thursday. Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen spoke as the chief guest at the seminar. Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General on Myanmar Noeleen Heyzer, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, US Embassy Dhaka’s Regional Refugee Coordinator Mackenzie Rowe and Dr Imtiaz Ahmed also spoke. Ambassador Naoki said the fundamental solution to the Rohingya crisis is to realize the repatriation of the Rohingya refugees to their homeland Myanmar. Read: Myanmar conditions do not allow for safe, voluntary return of Rohingya: US “Japan will stand ready to cooperate with Bangladesh to this end. We commend the efforts of the government to start the repatriation early through the bilateral dialogue. I see the urgent need for early repatriation,” he mentioned. Given the current political situation in Myanmar, it is a challenging task, he added. Despite the difficulty, Naoki said, the international community must make the utmost efforts to support the government of Bangladesh and create an enabling environment for the early start of repatriation process. The ambassador said it is highly commendable that the government and the people of Bangladesh have shown a humanitarian stance and generously provided shelter to Rohingya refugees over the past five years. Japan will continuously support and show its solidarity with Bangladesh and Rohingya, he said. In January 2022, Japan provided US$ 2 million seed funding to UNHCR and WFP as the first donor to help operations on Bhasan Char. “Nevertheless, I believe that the situation in Bhasan Char could be more creative and sustainable,” said Naoki who has been to Bhasan Char twice. Since the coup in Myanmar on February 1st last year, he said, Japan has taken every opportunity to strongly urge the Myanmar military to immediately stop the violence; release those detained; and swiftly restore the democratic political system. The ambassador said Japan has also been working closely with the international community, including ASEAN countries, to improve the situation in Myanmar. “I believe that improving the situation in Myanmar, including restoring its democratic regime, is essential to achieving sustainable repatriation of Rohingya refugees,” he said. “Also, we must improve the condition in the Rakhine state, and Japan has been providing financial support for that,” he added. Five years ago, Myanmar’s military launched a brutal campaign against Rohingya – razing villages, raping, torturing, and perpetrating large-scale violence that killed thousands of Rohingya men, women, and children. More than 740,000 Rohingya were forced to flee their homes and seek refuge in Bangladesh.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and canceled his planned travels while he isolates and recuperates. Kishida developed a slight fever and cough late Saturday and a PCR test for the coronavirus was positive, said Noriyuki Shikata, the cabinet secretary for public affairs at the prime minister's office. “Prime Minister Kishida is isolated inside his residence,” he told The Associated Press on Sunday. Read: Japan minister says women ‘underestimated’ The 65-year-old prime minister was on summer vacation last week and was scheduled to return to work Monday. It’s not clear where or how he was infected. Kishida won't go in person to a conference on African development later this month in Tunisia but will participate online. He also postponed his trip to the Middle East. Cases of coronavirus infections have been surging recently in Japan, although most people — including Kishida — have been vaccinated. Other world leaders including U.S. President Joe Biden have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and recovered.
Bangladesh Embassy in Tokyo on Monday observed the National Mourning Day and the 47th Anniversary of Martyrdom of the great architect of Bangladesh’s independence, the greatest Bengali of all time and Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman paying deep respect and in a solemn manner. The programme began in the morning at the Embassy premises with hoisting of the national flag at half-mast by the Ambassador of Bangladesh to Japan Shahabuddin Ahmed. The national anthem was played at this time. After this, one-minute silence was observed followed by a special dowa and munajat for the salvation of the martyred souls of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, his family members and all other martyrs of 15th August in 1975 with the participation of all Embassy officials and expatriate Bangladeshis. Later at the Bangabandhu Auditorium, Ambassador Ahmed followed by other participants paid deepest homage to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by laying a floral wreath at the portrait of Bangabandhu. Messages of the President, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and State Minister for Foreign Affairs issued on the occasion were read out to the audience. Read:Bangladesh High Commission in Canberra observes National Mourning Day Ambassador Shahabuddin paid profound homage to the greatest Bengali of all time and Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as he dreamt for freedom of his Bengali people and their independent statehood. Under the visionary, fearless and strong leadership of the Father of the Nation, the Bengali Nation was united to forge a struggle for independence and fought liberation war to attain an independent country, Bangladesh and a national identity, Bangalee, at the global stage. Immediate after independence, under his leadership, Bangladesh joined all major international and regional bodies and established bilateral relations with large number of countries including Japan thus firmly establishing Bangladesh’s place in the world stage. "Bangabandhu is not with us today, but his dream, ideals and directives are still guiding us in the pathway for emancipation of Bangladesh. Under the leadership of his daughter and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh will implement the Vision 2041 to build a poverty free, modern and developed country as dreamt by Bangabandhu as his Sonar Bangla," the Ambassador expressed his resolve. A discussion on the significance of the day was held following a documentary screening on the life and work of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. In this segment, a significant number of Bangladeshi community members and professionals working in Japan highlighted the significance of the day and vowed to turn the grief of losing Bangabandhu into strength to work unitedly in strengthening the hands of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to further develop the country and fulfil the dream of Bangabandhu to create ‘Sonar Bangla’.
The government of Japan and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Wednesday launched a new project to address the unprecedented rise in infectious health care waste caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that is overwhelming waste treatment facilities. The project will support the national health agencies and other key stakeholders in Bangladesh, Bhutan and the Maldives. The two-year $11 million ‘Project for the Improvement of Infectious Waste Management’ was officially launched at a signing ceremony in New York City, said the UN agency. Ambassador Takeshi Osuga, Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations and Kanni Wignaraja, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific at UNDP attended the signing ceremony. “The government of Japan is proud to support Bangladesh, Bhutan and the Maldives to establish sustainable solutions for health care waste management, that will provide long-term benefits for health care workers, patients and the wider community, as well as contribute to protecting human security,” said the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations. Read:Holding fair polls requires equal role from all sides: Ambassador Haas Improperly managed health care waste is recognized as a significant source of pollutants. For example, disposing untreated health care waste in open dumps and landfill sites can cause soil and water contamination, while inadequate incineration of medical waste can lead to the release of persistent organic pollutants. Many low- and middle-income countries have historically had limited public and private investments in sustainable waste treatment systems, and now find themselves in the dire situation of mounting health care waste that is beyond their waste management capacity. “The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present compound challenges for countries on their path to recovery and sustainable development,” said Kanni Wignaraja. “The threat posed by inadequate health care waste management systems is one such challenge that requires urgent attention, so we can better safeguard our health as well as that of the environment.” The project will support key stakeholders in the three countries to deploy locally appropriate health care waste management practices and technologies to help protect human health, and minimize the pandemic's environmental and social impacts. Health facilities in 26 sub-districts in Bangladesh, in 15 districts across 4 cities in Bhutan, and 6 atolls in the Maldives will benefit from the support. Health care workers will receive training on properly treating and handling infectious waste, which requires special treatment processes to ensure there is no risk of onward disease transmission to patients, hospital staff and nearby communities. Health facilities will also be equipped with specialized health care waste disposal equipment and digital management systems for improved coordination. UNDP’s work in health is guided by its Strategic Plan and HIV and Health Strategy, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Through a systems and governance approach, and in collaboration with other UN agencies and partners, UNDP helps countries to deliver more strongly integrated health and development solutions that have equity, resilience and sustainability at their core.