Sri Lanka to engage with all 47 prefectures of Japan

Sri Lanka to engage with all 47 prefectures of Japan

Sri Lanka is to increase engagement with all 47 prefectural governments in Japan to seek commonalities with Sri Lanka and understand competencies of each prefecture, the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Japan, Rodney Perera said.

Newly appointed Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Japan, E. Rodney M. Perera assumed duties at the Sri Lanka Embassy in Tokyo. He is the eighteenth Sri Lanka Ambassador to Japan during last 70 years of bilateral relations between the two countries.

Ambassador Perera addressed the gathering and invited the Sri Lankan community to engage Mission officials and expressed the benefit of working together as one team to support the efforts of the Embassy of Sri Lanka to further enhance bilateral relations with Japan. He also explained that, as stated by the President of Sri Lanka during his recent visit to Japan, there is a vital need to rebuild the ties between the two countries to reach the full potential of this time-tested multifaceted mutually beneficial partnership. 

He elaborated that Japan and Sri Lanka could jointly address some areas such as food security, energy security and maritime safety that have an impact on both countries.

Referring to the speech of former President J R Jayawardena at the San Francisco Peace Conference in 1951, the Ambassador explained the need to learn from Japan and emulate how they rebuilt the country and allowed new technology and innovation to reinvigorate the economy to its current status. Reflecting on the important role that can be played by Japan at this critical juncture for Sri Lanka, he recalled the Comprehensive Partnership that was agreed upon by the two countries in 2015 and the numerous projects for which Japan had generously committed a significant amount of financial resources. He also recalled the Tokyo Donor Conference in 2003 in which Japan mobilized global economic support for Sri Lanka.

He stressed on the need to capitalize on Sri Lanka’s strategic location, its access to South Asia and Southeast Asia through the use of trade agreements such as FTA’s to find innovative ways to increase country’s trade volumes and income to generate much needed foreign currency. He noted the importance of product diversity and collaborations with established Japanese business enterprises to build investor confidence and the need to develop viable supply chains and increase investments particularly in IT and banking sectors.  Promoting Japanese travelers to visit Sri Lanka and making full use of the employment opportunities made available for Sri Lankans by Japan remain immediate priorities of the Embassy in Tokyo.

Expanding into cultural and educational diplomacy, Ambassador Perera expressed his wish to expand collaborations with cultural, educational and religious institutions, to increase research activities and student exchanges. He added that there is tremendous potential for Sri Lanka to grow in the fields of fisheries and mineral industry. As means to promoting Sri Lanka throughout Japan, he proposed to increase engagement with all 47 prefectural governments to seek commonalities with Sri Lanka and understand competencies of each prefecture. Image building of Sri Lanka in Japan and creating a fresh narrative about Sri Lanka was also elaborated. (Colombo Gazette)

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