Japan is with Bangladesh on Rohingya issue, Ambassador Izumi tells FM Momen

Tokyo is on Bangladesh’s side on Rohingya issue and trying to convince the world to solve the crisis, Japanese Ambassador in Dhaka Hiroyasu Izumi has said.

“We are at the side of Bangladesh. We are committed to seeking support for Bangladesh. We sincerely hope for solutions to this difficult issue,” the ambassador told reporters on Sunday after meeting Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen.


The foreign minister termed Japan “one of the best friends” and said he wants Japan at his side in the development process of Bangladesh.

“Our foreign policy focus is economic diplomacy because by 2021 we’ll be a middle-income country, by 2030 we have to attain sustainable development goals and by 2041 we want to be a developed country,” he said.

Momen said they also decided to celebrate the milestones of the two countries with a slew of activities.

The ambassador invited the prime minister for this year’s international conference on the future of Asia.

“Next year we’ll celebrate the 100 years of birth anniversary of our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and in 2021, we will celebrate 50 years of our independence. So we want to keep up our development trend,” Momen said.

“By that time Karnaphuli, Meghna-Gomuti bridges will be opened. Next year, Japan will host Olympics and in our country we’ll celebrate 100 birth anniversary of our father of the nation.

“In 2021 we’ll do something here. The work of Jamuna Railway Bridge and Karnaphuli water supply will start. Matarbarhi coal unloading port will be completed in 2022 when we’ll celebrate 50 years of our diplomatic relations.

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“We want to start a third terminal at Dhaka airport and the MRT line will have been completed by that time,” the foreign minister said, adding that he had a very “friendly discussion” to carry forward the bilateral relations.

UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar Yanghee Lee also met the foreign minister

She said it was a fruitful meeting and hoped that her office will collaborate and work together with the foreign ministry of Bangladesh to help address the Rohingya crisis.

Momen said he sought support of all. “It’s a big problem. We want solution. Quick is better. Otherwise, it can create uncertainty and that will be problem for all countries in the region, even for Myanmar.”

The interests of all will be affected, he said, naming India, China, and Thailand.

“We need active support of all.”

The foreign minister, however, acknowledged that the process is slow, “but I am always optimistic”.