e-News® | The NEWS Company…DHAKA, Sept 6, 2014 : A red carpet was rolled out as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe along with his wife Akie Abe arrived here this afternoon on a two-day official visit to Bangladesh at the invitation of his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina. A special aircraft carrying the Japanese Prime Minister, his wife and members of his entourage landed at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport here at 12.50 pm.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina received Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie Abe when they alighted from the special aircraft at the VVIP Tarmac of the airport, while two tiny tots presented bouquets to them. A smartly turned out contingent drawn from three services gave a guard of honour and state salute to Shinzo Abe. Accompanied by Sheikh Hasina, he took the salute from a decorated dais. The national anthems of the two countries were played on the occasion. Later, the two premiers inspected the guard.
There after, the Bangladesh Prime Minister introduced her cabinet colleagues and other dignitaries to the Japanese Premier at the presentation line. The Japanese Prime Minister also introduced his entourage members to Sheikh Hasina. Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, PM’s Foreign Affairs Advisor Dr Gowher Rizvi and State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam were also present at the airport to welcome the Japanese Prime Minister.
Besides, Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, PM’s Principal Secretary Abdus Sobhan Sikdar, the chiefs of three services, the inspector general of police, the dean of the diplomatic corps and high civil and military officials were present. After the warm welcome at the airport, the Japanese premier straight drove to the National Mausoleum at Savar and paid tributes to the martyrs of the War of Liberation by placing wreaths. He signed the visitors’ book there.
Later, Shinzo Abe would go to Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi in the capital and pay tributes to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The Japanese premier will stay at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel during her visit to Bangladesh. This visit is taking place after 14 years since then Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori of Japan visited Bangladesh in 2000.
This is the return visit by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in quick succession of his Bangladesh counterpart’s official visit to Japan in May 2014. Sheikh Hasina visited Japan from May 25-28 at the invitation of Shinzo Abe. During the visit, the Bangladesh Premier had a summit meeting with Shinzo Abe on May 26, when Japan pledged to provide US$ 6 billion, equivalent to 600 billion yen, to Bangladesh for the next five years. Shinzo Abe is leading a 150-member delegation, 50 of them being leading businessmen. The two premiers are set for an exclusive one-to-one meeting ahead of the formal bilateral talks later in the day while Dhaka earlier said it expected the visit to strengthen “comprehensive partnership” with Tokyo further.
“Honourable Prime Minister’s (Sheikh Hasina’s) recent visit to Japan took the bilateral ties to a new comprehensive partnership . . . I expect the Japanese premier’s visit will make the partnership more dynamic,” Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali told a media briefing on Thursday. Ali said the return visit by Abe in quick succession of his Bangladesh counterpart’s Tokyo tour in May 2014 was particularly expected to yield some developments on the expected Japanese assistance for the proposed mega-projects in Bangladesh while the issue was discussed during Sheikh Hasina’s tour four months ago.
Ali said Bangladesh official already held talks with Japan’s ODA Policy Dialogue Mission on the proposed mega projects in line with the joint communiqu‚,, issued during Bangladesh prime minister’s Japan visit. “The progress of these talks will be reviewed during his (Abe’s) visit,” the minister said. He said establishment of a specialized economic zone for Japan is also expected to feature the bilateral talks during the visit while Bangladesh believes Japanese entrepreneurs would be encouraged to invest in energy, electricity, infrastructure development, ICT, textiles and RMG, pharmaceuticals and automobile sector.
“We have witnessed massive Japanese interest in developing big infrastructures and human resources development in Bangladesh in recent period,” Ali said.
During the visit, Japanese Prime Minister will meet President M Abdul Hamid and Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Begum Raushon Ershad. Besides, Abe will address the Bangladesh-Japan Economic Forum jointly organised by Bangladesh Board of Investment (BoI), Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), and Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) to promote trade between Bangladesh and Japan and attract Japanese investment to Bangladesh. Meanwhile, the roadside islands have been decorated with the national flags of Bangladesh and Japan and large size portraits of Shinzo Abe and Sheikh Hasina.
The Japanese Prime Minister is scheduled to leave Dhaka for Sri Lanka at 10.30 am tomorrow.