Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said Bangladesh and Japan have successfully elevated the bilateral relations to a "Strategic Partnership" from the existing "Comprehensive Partnership".
"Prime Minister Kishida and I have discussed today the entire gamut of our bilateral relations. We are happy that Bangladesh and Japan have successfully elevated the bilateral relations to a "Strategic Partnership" from the existing "Comprehensive Partnership", she said.
The Prime Minister made the remarks in a joint statement after the exchanging of several instruments signed between the two sides following bilateral talks with her Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida at the Prime Minister's Office in Tokyo, reports BSS.
She added: "Today, Prime Minister Kishida and I concluded the Joint Statement on "Strategic Partnership". I am confident that the excellent understanding, friendship and cooperation that exist between our two peoples and our governments would grow even stronger in the years ahead."
"Our two sides have signed - agreements and memorandums which will further institutionalize our future cooperation in the areas of agriculture, customs matters, defense, ICT and cyber-security, industrial upgrading, intellectual property, ship recycling and metro rail," she said.
During the bilateral talks, the two sides discussed about Rohingya issue alongside MIDI ((Moheshkhali-Matarbari Integrated Infrastructure Development Initiative) and BIG-B initiative (The Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth Belt) and Economic Partnership.
Sheikh Hasina said they have discussed about Rohingya crisis as the overdue presence of the Rohingyas has seriously been affecting the lives and livelihoods of the local communities in Bangladesh.
"We requested Japan to help finding a durable solution to the crisis by using its channel of communication with Myanmar," she said.
The Prime Minister said Dhaka and Narita are going to start direct flight this year.
"We are happy to announce that the Dhaka-Narita direct flight is going to operate within this year," she said.
The Prime Minister said they have also discussed about the MIDI and BIG-B Initiative for development of Southern Bangladesh for connecting the Bay of Bengal and the neighbouring regions.
"We thank the Government of Japan for being our one of the largest development partners. We are looking forward to conclude an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in the days ahead," she said.
The premier said, "It is always a pleasure to be in Japan- a beautiful country that is close to my heart."
"I am particularly delighted to be able to undertake my official visit to Tokyo after we have completed the 50th anniversary of establishment of our diplomatic relations," she said.
She said that she is deeply touched by the hospitality that Prime Minister Kishida and the Government of Japan have extended to her and her delegation.
"Japan occupies a very special place in the hearts of the people of Bangladesh. Japan was among those few countries that gave early recognition to Bangladesh on 10 February 1972," she said.
She said the historic visit of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to Japan in October 1973 laid the foundation of their lasting friendship.
Sheikh Hasina is visiting Japan after three years since she last visited in the country 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic broke out.
Earlier, the Bangladesh premier arrived in the Haneda International Airport in Tokyo around 4:45pm local time yesterday (April 25) as she left Dhaka on a 15-day official tour to Japan, the USA and the UK on April 25 morning.
Japan welcomed the Bangladesh premier by rolling out the red carpet and also gave her the static guard of honour at the airport.