Senior Japanese Diplomat Yasushi Akashi has met President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees this afternoon (August 06) ahead of the historic visit of the Japanese Premier tomorrow. It has been 24 years since a Japanese Prime Minister last visited Sri Lanka.
President Rajapaksa warmly received Mr Akashi, Representative of the Government of Japan for Peace Building, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction in Sri Lanka. The President noted that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Sri Lanka is an important occasion.
Mr. Akashi also said, “It is very important visit for Japan, and I hope for Sri Lanka as well. Japan is deeply grateful for Sri Lanka’s cooperation and good understanding. I hope Prime Minister Abe’s visit will further strengthen the friendship between the two countries”.
President Rajapaksa and Mr. Akashi spoke at length about reconciliation efforts of the Government. The President briefed Japanese envoy on the work of the Presidential Commission to investigate into complaints regarding missing persons and progress achieved in demining. Mr. Akashi appreciated the work done for national reconciliation. He also commended Sri Lanka’s progress in demining and said that it is extra ordinary. Mr. Akashi further said that the countries emerging from conflicts such as Sri Lanka should not be asked to make all changes immediately. He described the post conflict development in Sri Lanka as phenomenal.
The Ambassador of Japan in Sri Lanka Mr. Nobuhito Hobo accompanied Mr. Akashi for the meeting.
Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris, Monitoring MP of the Ministry of External Affairs Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs Mrs. Kshenuka Seneviratne and Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Japan Admiral (Redt) Wasantha Karannagoda were present at the meeting.
Pix By: Sudath Silva