Bangladesh and Japan on Tuesday shared five specific proposals to find early solution to Rohingya crisis ensuring safe, voluntary and sustainable return of Rohingyas to Myanmar.
The Japanese side also sought the safety of its nationals working in Bangladesh and a congenial environment for Japanese investors here as Japan wants to deepen its ties with Bangladesh and help achieve its long-term development goals.
The issues came up for discussions at a bilateral meeting Bangladesh and Japan at state guesthouse Meghna in the city.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono led their respective sides at the meeting.
Addressing a press briefing after the meeting, Mahmood Ali said Japan has agreed to provide necessary support for the repatriation and resettlement of the Rohingyas.
Bangladesh and Japan agreed on the importance of stability in the region for building stronger economic partnership between the two countries and early realization of safe and secure return of the Rohingyas is the key, he said.
In a separate briefing with a select group of journalists, Japanese press secretary Takeshi Osuga said Minister Kono shared the five proposals with Myanmar side, and they gladly accepted those proposals for quick and sustainable return of Rohingyas.
The five proposals are: Urging Myanmar to fully cooperate with independent enquiry committee, to fully cooperate with the UN agencies based on recently signed MoU, close camps for internally displaced persons in Myanmar, to expedite the process of building modern villages and conduct regular briefings in Rohingya camps by Myanmar side about steps taken on safe return of Rohingyas.
The minister thanked Japan for its firm resolve to continue development of cooperation and for signing the 39th Official Development Assistance (ODA) package of about US$ 2 billion.
Mentioning that the charge-sheet in the Holey Artisan café case was submitted to court on July 23 this year, Mahmood Ali said the two countries agreed to work together to promote and maintain regional and international peace and security as well as addressing terrorism.
He hoped that Japan will stand in solidarity with Bangladesh in its fight against terrorism and review its travel alert.
Kono said the two countries at the meeting also confirmed further deepening their bilateral relationship under the comprehensive partnership and strengthen efforts to develop a conclusive investment climate, including ensuring the safety of Japanese nationals in Bangladesh.
He said Japan highly values Bangladeshi government’s generous acceptance of the displaced people from Myanmar and the continuation of dialogue with the Myanmar government towards a solution to the matter.
Tokyo wants peaceful polls
Takeshi Osuga, also an Assistant Minister, said the Japanese Minister discussed the issue of next national election in Bangladesh.
“Japan wants to see the next national is conducted in a peaceful and democratic way,” he said.
The Japanese Foreign Minister hoped that the situation related to student protests will be taken care of in a peaceful manner.
Foreign Minister Ali briefed his Japanese counterpart in details and said the situation is under control.
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono arrived in Dhaka on Tuesday afternoon on a brief visit to further promote the Bangladesh-Japan comprehensive partnership and discuss other issues of mutual interests, including Rohingya crisis.
Secretary-Bilateral (Asia & Pacific) at the Foreign Ministry Mahbub Uz Zaman received the Japanese minister at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport here upon his arrival in the afternoon.
On Monday, Kono and State Counsellor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi discussed how to resolve the ongoing Rohingya crisis, international media reported.
Japan said they will continue to fully support Bangladesh’s development on all fronts so that the country can attain “newly industrialised economy” status by 2021, through the 39th Yen Loan Package (total 200.4 billion yen).On May 14, Kono held a Japan-Bangladesh meeting and working dinner at Iikura Guest House with Foreign Minister Ali.
During the meeting, Kono stated that Japan will further promote the Japan-Bangladesh comprehensive partnership and continue to fully support Bangladesh’s development on all fronts.
Besides, he explained that Japan will further strengthen the bilateral relations towards the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2022 and requested the government of Bangladesh to continue to secure the safety of Japanese people.
Diplomatic sources say Japan highly commended the efforts made by the government of Bangladesh in accepting Rohingyas from the Rakhaine State of Myanmar and the ongoing dialogue with the government of Myanmar.