Colombo, 5 December 2021 (TDI): On 30 November, Sri Lanka Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris met with the newly-appointed Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka—Mizukoshi Hideaki. The two discussed diplomatic relations between Japan and Sri Lanka.
Minister Peiris congratulated Hideaki on his new appointment and warmly welcomed him to Sri Lanka. He also acknowledged the consistent, long-standing relationship between Sri Lanka and Japan, commenting particularly on the Colombo Plan. Through this plan, Sri Lanka has gained continuous yet substantial support and training from Japan in multiple areas since 1951. Thus, it is an exemplification of their friendly ties.
Japan also gifted the Sri Jayewardenepura Hospital after former Sri Lankan President JR Jayewardene’s historic address at the San Francisco Peace Conference. They resonated with his speech and the gift was an act of solidarity, symbolizing the strong friendship between both countries.
Foreign Minister Peiris further expressed appreciation for Japan’s funding of the recent mega-development ventures in Sri Lanka. For instance, the ‘Bandaranaike International Airport Development Project’, ‘New Bridge Construction Project over Kehlani River’ as well as ‘Anuradhapura Water Supply Project’. Finally, Peiris mentioned the ‘Digitalization of Terrestrial Television Broadcasting Project’ that Japan has helped implement. He commented that this project would add great value to Sri Lanka’s media sector.
Peiris then added that the Japanese Government has always demonstrated a true understanding of the needs of the Sri Lankan people. During his time as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Colombo, Peiris witnessed Japan donate resources to the institute. These were donated to develop the Institute of Computer Technology at the University.
In effect, they provided the Sri Lankan public a bright opportunity to enhance their IT skills. Moreover, the Japanese language is a popular foreign language pursuit among the Sri Lankan youth. Minister Peiris noted the contributions the Government of Japan has made in improving this area of study in Sri Lanka.
Additionally, the Minister also expressed gratitude to Yasushi Akashi, Japan’s special peace Envoy to Sri Lanka, for assisting in the peace-building process.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Hideaki passed on friendly greetings from Japan’s Foreign Minister to Peiris, his Sri Lankan counterpart. Further, he conveyed the Japanese Government’s eager interests in continuing to enhance bilateral and economic relations with Sri Lanka.
Hideaki also announced that the 70th anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Japan and Sri Lanka would be celebrated in 2022. To add to that, the Japanese Government would organize multiple activities to engage in this festivity. Lastly, the Ambassador extended a formal invitation to Sri Lanka’s President—Gotabaya Rajapaksa—to visit Japan during the anniversary.