Ambassador's Message

2020/10/11
It has been already one year since my arrival in Bangladesh as Ambassador of Japan last October.
 
Looking back the past year’s development in our bilateral relations, high-level exchanges and dialogues proceeded in a wide range of areas. In October 2019, Hon’ble President H.E. Md. Abdul Hamid and Mrs. Hamid attended the enthronement ceremony of His Majesty the Emperor Naruhito. Also, Hon’ble Minister of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment, H.E. Imran Ahmad visited Japan in the same month. Hon’ble State Minister for Youth and Sports H.E. Zahid Ahsan Russel’s visit on the occasion of 2019 Rugby World Cup. In August 2020, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Hon’ble Prime Minister H.E. Sheikh Hasina had a teleconference.
 
Since March this year COVID-19 pandemic has been affecting our interactions in various fields such as economic activities and cultural exchanges. However even during this challenging time, Japan has been supporting Bangladesh in its fight against the pandemic. Japanese government signed to provide Bangladesh government with the COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Budget Support Loan for JPY 35 billion (Approximately USD 330 million) in August. In addition, Japan provided medical equipment for healthcare sectors as well as emergency support through international organizations.
 
Besides Japan’s contributions to tackle COVID-19, the year 2020 was remarkable in terms of Official Development Assistance (ODA) from Japan to Bangladesh, as the largest ever annual ODA loan package of JPY 338 billion (approximately USD 3.2 billion) was signed in August. This year’s loan package comprises assistance to projects including Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) , Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport Expansion, Jamuna Railway Bridge Construction, and Chattogram – Cox’s Bazar Highway Improvement. These large-scale infrastructure projects, in addition to ongoing deep-sea port construction in Matarbari, are essential for the development of Bangladeshi industries and will symbolize the future of Bangladesh once they are completed. Japan will continue to support Bangladesh’s development, as it directly leads to the overall stability of Bay of Bengal and Indo-Pacific region.
 
In the field of business relationship, I am happy to note that more than 300 Japanese companies are currently operating in Bangladesh, and the number has tripled over the past 10 years. The direct investment from Japan has also been doubled in 8 years. I am eager to work further on improving the business environment to make the trade and investment between Japan and Bangladesh more robust.
 
The year 2020 marks the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation "Bangabandhu" Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and 2021 is the 50th anniversary of the independence of Bangladesh. Further ahead, 2022 is the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Bangladesh. Taking these milestones as opportunities, I would like to continue to devote myself to further deepen mutual understanding and exchanges of people between Japan and Bangladesh.
 
We also continue to ensure the safety and security of the Japanese nationals visiting/ living in Bangladesh. We would appreciate your opinion and cooperation toward building stronger ties between Japan and Bangladesh.


October 11th, 2020
ITO Naoki
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the People’s Republic of Bangladesh