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Japan-Bangladesh Relations

Year 2002: 30th Anniversary of Japan-Bangladesh Diplomatic Relations

Japan recognized the People's Republic of Bangladesh on February 10th, 1972, soon after its independence. Japan was thus one of the earliest countries to officially recognize Bangladesh. Warm friendship has been fostered between our two peoples since then.

Century-old exchanges between Japanese and Bengali people

One of the earliest close contacts between our two peoples goes back to the beginning of the 20th century, when Rabindranath Tagore and Tenshin Okakura, a distinguished Japanese fine arts scholar, and Taikan Yokoyama, a Japanese master of painting, profoundly affected and influenced each other's work through their friendship. Up to the present time, our two countries have not only enjoyed very cordial relations but also developed bonds of mutual understanding and friendship.

Cultural Exchange
Every year, more than a hundred Bangladeshi students receive Japanese Government Scholarships to study in Japan, and Bangladesh is one of the largest recipient countries of these scholarships in recent times. So far total about 2000 Bangladeshi student have been to Japan under the scholarship since 1955. Professor Mohammad Kibria is one of the renowned painters who studied in Japan as a scholarship student of the Japanese Government.

Japan has extended assistance for the preservation of Monuments of Begerhat and Paharpur Bihar from 1992 to 1997, through the UNESCO/ Japan trust Fund for the preservation of the World Cultural Heritage. Experimental conservation work was successfully carried out, detailed plan and the restoration completed.

Japan as a long trusted development partner to Bangladesh :

As one of the development partners of Bangladesh, Japan has extended support to its effort for economic and social development for the past 30 years since its independence. Alleviation of poverty is the highest priority, while a greater emphasis has been put on quality of aid. Government of Japan has been providing aid to encourage self-help efforts so that Bangladesh does not develop an excessive dependence on foreign aid, with the consideration of (i) the demand for resource in the country, (ii) its ability to absorb aid, and (iii) its ability to service debt.

Japan's ODA

Government of Japan provides Official Development Assistance (ODA) based on requests made by the Government of Bangladesh. Japan has developed the country assistance program in cooperation and agreement with the Government of Bangladesh.
Japan 's ODA is classified into three types: Grant Aid, Technical Cooperation and ODA Loan Aid. Given the fact that Bangladesh is a Less Least Developed Country (LLDC), Japanese aid is basically be grant aid and technical cooperation.

Japan 's ODA Disbursements to Bangladesh (million US $)

Year Grant Loan aid Total
  Grant aid TechnicalCooperation Total Gross Net Total
1996 184.77 30.52 215.28 105.56 -41.25 174.03
1997 169.60 26.83 196.44 75.99 -66.45 129.98
1998 216.35 22.83 239.19 93.32 -50.14 189.05
1999 204.43 25.04 226.47 77.68 -102.81 123.66


201.96 40.55 242.52 161.06 -40.90 201.62
Total 2,845.27 341.10 3,276.39 3,258.16 1,619.60 4,859.95

Aid guidelines for priority areas and challenges

Japan will continue to assist Bangladesh to achieve poverty eradication. It will be addressed through the following agreed prioritized areas mentioned in the county assistance programme.

Trade and Investment
Our bilateral relationship has also enhanced in other areas, especially in trade and investment. Japan has been one of major destinations for Bangladeshi goods. In recent years, shoes, prawns, garments and leather goods are major export products to Japan. Bangladesh is trying diversify export and develop more export oriented industries. These very constructive measures will improve the existing situation and open up a new window of opportunities for trade and investment between two friendly countries.

Bilateral Relations

Japan Bangladesh Relations
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