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PM Sheikh Hasina leaves for tri-nation tour

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina left Dhaka on Tuesday morning on a 15-day official tour to Japan, the USA and the UK.

“A special chartered VVIP flight (BG1403) of the Biman Bangladesh Airlines carrying the Prime Minister and her entourage members departed from the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport around 07.56am,” PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim told BSS.

Several cabinet ministers, cabinet secretary, chiefs of the three services, inspector general of police and head of the diplomatic corps were present at the airport to see the Premier off.

The flight is scheduled to arrive in the Haneda International Airport, Tokyo at 5pm (local time) where she will be received by TAKEI Shunsuke, State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan and Ambassador of Bangladesh to Japan Shahabuddin Ahmed.

At the airport, a red carpet will be rolled out in honour of the Prime Minister while she will also be given static guard of honour.

A ceremonial motorcade with a 30 minutes ride on road will take her to the Akasaka Palace of Residence, Tokyo where she will stay during her Japan visit.

Dhaka is expected to sign around eight deals with Tokyo in the visit.

“In the presence of the two prime ministers (Bangladesh and Japan), nearly eight Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) are likely to be signed between the two countries,” foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said in a curtain raiser briefing at the foreign ministry here on Monday.

He said the deals on agriculture, metro rail, industrial upgrade, ship recycling, customs matters, intellectual properties; defence cooperation, ICT and cyber security cooperation will be signed during the visit in Japan.

Momen said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will pay a curtsey call on Emperor of Japan Naruhito on April 26.

On the same day, she will hold a bilateral meeting with her Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida after the signing of the deals.

The meeting will conclude with a dinner at the residence of the Prime Minister of Japan, said the foreign minister.

During the visit to Japan, the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is also scheduled to attend an investment summit and a community reception.

She will also hand over the “Friends of Liberation War Honour” to four Japanese nationals for their contribution to Bangladesh’s Liberation War in 1971, Momen said.

On April 27, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will deliver her speech as the chief guest at a Bangladesh business summit jointly organized by Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC), Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) and JETRO in Tokyo.

On the same day, the premier will hand over the ‘Friend of Liberation War Honour’ to four Japanese citizens for their contribution during Bangladesh’s Great War of Liberation in 1971.

In the evening, the Prime minister will join the event to be organized by the Bangladesh expatriates and community living in Japan.

During her visit in Tokyo, the Prime Minister will also attend several additional bilateral meetings, including meeting with Japanese foreign minister Yoshimasa Hayashi,and meeting with leaders of JAICA, JETRO, JEBIC, JBPFL and JBCCEC.

The Bangladesh Premier will also meet the late former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s wife Akie Abe and a Japanese architect Tadao Ando.

Besides, Japan state television channel NHK will broadcast an interview of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s younger daughter Sheikh Rehana, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, Agriculture Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque, Prime Minister’s Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid and State Minister for Information and Communication Technology (ICT)Zunaid Ahmed Palak along with the relevant high level government officials are accompanying the prime minister during her visit to Japan

The prime minister will arrive in the United States from Tokyo to attend the ceremony, marking a 50-year partnership between Bangladesh and the World Bank in Washington DC on May 1.

On May 4, Momen said, Bangladesh’s premier would leave Washington for London to attend the coronation of Charles III and his wife, Camilla, as king and queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms.

The Prime Minister is scheduled to reach Dhaka from London on May 9.