Bangladesh and Japan agreed to work together to tackle the challenges of the Covid pandemic and Rohingya crisis.
The countries talked about the issues as Japanese Ambassador Ito Naoki called on the State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam at his office on Tuesday.
They comprehensively discussed the bilateral relations and issues of common concerns, according to a statement by the foreign ministry.
Both sides recalled Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's groundbreaking visit to Japan in 1973 which laid the rock-solid foundation of the bilateral relations.
The State Minister conveyed his deep appreciation for Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's participation at the event celebrating Bangabandhu's birth centenary and the golden jubilee of the Independence of Bangladesh.
The two sides agreed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in 2022 in a befitting manner including through the exchange of high-level visits.
Shahriar Alam stated that the Covid-19 pandemic posed an unprecedented challenging time for all and thanked the Government of Japan for the Covid-19 related assistance.
He briefed the Japanese envoy on the initiatives taken by the Government to combat the pandemic and sought support from Japan to continue its fight against Covid-19.
Japanese Ambassador highly appreciated the socio-economic progress of Bangladesh, even during the pandemic, and assured of continued support to Bangladesh to deal with the Covid-19 situation.
State Minister Shahriar Alam underscored that if 1.1 million Rohingyas were denied the opportunity to return to their ancestral homes in the Rakhaine state of Myanmar, it could have ramifications for regional and international security and stability.
He also urged Japan to use her influence to persuade Myanmar and the international community to create a conducive environment within Myanmar for the safe and dignified return of the Rohingyas.
The Ambassador reiterated Japan's commitment of continued support for Rohingya repatriation.
The state minister hoped that the Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth Belt (Big-B) Initiative of Japan would accelerate cooperation for the development of quality infrastructure and create more investment opportunities in Bangladesh. These, he added, would strengthen regional connectivity.
They also reviewed the progress of the Japanese funded major development projects. Recognising Bangladesh's leadership role in the climate change discourse, the Ambassador expressed the willingness of the Japanese investors in clean energy.