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Japan may provide ‘30 billion yen’ as assistance: Momen

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has “assured” Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that his country will consider a “new budget support assistance” and both sides decided to resume a bilateral policy dialogue in carrying out development cooperation projects.

While briefing reporters in Tokyo yesterday, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said that Japan will provide “30 billion yen” to Bangladesh, as assurance of support came from the Japanese side.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam, Bangladesh Ambassador to Japan, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Seheli Sabrin were also present at the briefing.

At the invitation of Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, Sheikh Hasina is currently on an official visit to Japan and had a summit meeting on April 26.

Recalling Japan’s commitment to provide assistance of up to 600 billion yen in about 4 to 5 years from 2014 – expressed in the joint statement on May 26, 2014 – the two prime ministers noted with satisfaction the successful fulfillment of the pledge.

They further expressed satisfaction that Japan’s assistance since 2014 totaled more than 2 trillion yen, according to a joint statement seen by UNB.

Prime Minister Kishida congratulated Bangladesh on its graduation from Least Developed Countries (LDC) category with effect from 2026 and expressed his decision to continually support Bangladesh’s efforts towards its LDC graduation and further development.

Prime Minister Hasina expressed her sincere gratitude for Japan’s tremendous and effective support over the past 50 years as the largest bilateral development partner and acknowledged that the Japanese assistance had contributed greatly to its LDC graduation.

They expressed their satisfaction with the progress of the Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth Belt (BIG-B) initiative and welcomed the commercial opening of Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Line 6, the first electric train in Bangladesh, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in 2022.

They reaffirmed that the development of Bangladesh through regional connectivity would contribute to the overall stability of the Indo-Pacific region and that the two countries would continue to 1) develop economic infrastructure, 2) improve investment environment, and 3) enhance regional connectivity, in Bangladesh under the BIG-B initiative as well as the newly launched concept of Industrial Value Chain connecting the Bay of Bengal and neighboring regions.

The two PMs welcomed the significant progress in the projects in Chattogram region, including Matarbari deep sea port under the BIG-B initiative.

They affirmed their continuous and accelerated cooperation so that Matarbari Port can become a hub of energy, logistics and industry in Bangladesh by using Japanese expertise and technology and can enhance connectivity between Bangladesh and its neighboring countries.

They affirmed that the two countries would explore cooperation in developing the southern Chattogram region including the improvement of Chattogram-Cox’s Bazar Highway.

Prime Minister Hasina expressed her intention to make progress towards the early establishment of the Moheshkhali-Matarbari Integrated Infrastructure Development Initiative (MIDI) Authority under the Government of Bangladesh.

Both prime ministers shared their intention to develop the MIDI Master Plan.