Bangladesh-Japan comprehensive partnership to reach new heights: PM

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Dhaka, June 16: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said “Japan-Bangladesh-Comprehensive Partnership” has been launched to take the friendly ties between the two countries to a new height of a strategic partnership.

“We have launched the ‘Japan-Bangladesh Comprehensive Partnership’ to elevate the friendly relationship to a new height. Our comprehensive partnership is now poised to be raised to a strategic partnership in the near future,” she said.

In a video message aired in a programme marking the celebration of the 50 years of cooperation between Bangladesh and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), she sought Japanese supports to fulfill Bangladesh’s vision to become a developed nation by 2041.

She recalled that Bangladesh remained deeply grateful for the invaluable support and contribution of Japan and its people during the War of Liberation.

Sheikh Hasina expressed her belief that sincerity, friendship and mutual respect are the core values for long-lasting bilateral relations.

Bangladesh and Japan have been maintaining and furthering relations based on those values and common interests, she stated.

She recalled that Father of the Nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman laid the foundation of Bangladesh-Japan relations through his maiden visit to Tokyo in 1973.

The premier also remembered her own visits to Japan in 1992, 1997, 2010, 2014, 2016 and 2019 as well as the visit of the then Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe to Bangladesh in 2014 to strengthen the relationship between the two countries.

Highlighting JICA’s contribution to the development of Bangladesh, the premier said Bangladesh recognizes Japan as its one of the most trusted friends and the single largest development partner.

She said that starting from USD 10.6 million commodity grant aid in the financial year 1971-72, JICA’s financial assistance portfolio to Bangladesh now stands at USD 28 billion.

To this end, she said Matarbari Coal-based Power Plant, Matarbari Port Development Project, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Rail Bridge over the river Jamuna, Metro-rail network in Dhaka and Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport Expansion Project are being implemented with JICA’s assistance.

The Prime Minister said, “Bangladesh is marching forward to fulfill the Father of the Nation’s dream of turning Bangladesh into a developed nation, while it has already attained recognition for graduating to a developing country in 2026.”

On the occasion of the 50 years of Bangladesh-JICA relationship, Sheikh Hasina conveyed her warmest greetings to the Emperor and the Empress of Japan as well as extended her deepest greetings and heartiest felicitations to the Prime Minister and the friendly people of Japan.