Bangladesh Embassy in Tokyo organized a Reception on 27th March 2023 with a View to Celebrating 52nd Independence and National Day of Bangladesh

Bangladesh Embassy in Tokyo organized a Reception on 27th March 2023 at Hotel New Otani – a historical venue where the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman stayed during his Japan visit in 1973. Due to the holy Ramadan, the event started at the evening and continued up to iftar followed by dinner. Approximately 350 guests including Ministers, Members of Parliament, high officials from Foreign Ministry and various ministries and agencies of Japan, Ambassadors and representatives of diplomatic missions, renowned businesspersons, academicians, journalists from Japan and Bangladeshi expatriates attended the event. H.E Mr. NISHIMURA Yasutoshi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan, H.E Mr. TAKEI Shunsuke, State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan and Mr. IBAYASHI Tatsunori, Secretary-General of JBPFL were present as Guests of Honour. To name a few dignitaries, H.E. Nakatani Gen, Special Adviser to Prime Minister Kishida on International Human Rights, H.E. Mr. Taro Kono Head of the Public Affairs Department, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, H.E. Ms. NAKAGAWA Yuko, Member, The House of Representatives, H.E. Mr. KIKAWADA Hitosh Chairman, The House of Representative, H.E. Mr. TSUKADA Ichiro, Member, The House of Representatives and former Secretary General of JBPFL, H.E. Keitero Ohno, Deputy Secretary General in Liberal Democratic Party, Member, The House of Representatives, H.E HAYASHI, Toshiyuki, Vice Minister for International Affairs, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and H.E Mr. Noriko Shibata, Assistant Vice Minister of Ministry of Justice of Japan attended the reception program. A number of Ambassadors including from South Asia namely India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Maldives also attended the reception.
The day’s program started with playing the National Anthems of Bangladesh and Japan successively. After this, H.E Mr. NISHIMURA Yasutoshi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan delivered his remarks on the occasion as Guest of Honor, which was followed by the remark of H.E Mr. TAKEI Shunsuke, State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan. The message issued by H.E. Taro Aso, President of Japan-Bangladesh Parliamentary Friendship League (JBPFL) was read by H.E. Mr. IBAYASHI Tatsunori, Member of the House of Representative and Secretary-General of JBPFL which was followed by the remark of H.E Mr. Shahabuddin Ahmed, Ambassador of Bangladesh to Japan. After this, the Guests of Honor and H.E the Ambassadors joined in a cake cutting ceremony which was followed by a group picture with guests. In his remark, H.E Mr. NISHIMURA Yasutoshi, Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) said Japan was ahead of the other countries in the world to recognize the newly independent Bangladesh and established the diplomatic relations. Ever since, both countries have been united by unwavering trust. In Japan, Bangladesh is well known to be one of the Japan friendly nations in Asia-he said in his remarks. The METI Minister mentioned Bangladesh achieved the economic growth of 7.2% in the year of 2022 which was the highest among the countries in the world and the country is the promising country among the NEXT11 countries. He mentioned that the presence of the Japanese manufacturers is progressive and that in furthering the Japan-Bangladesh economic relations, the two countries have formed “Joint Study Group on the possibility of a Japan-Bangladesh Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)”.
H.E Mr. TAKEI Shunsuke, State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan thanked the Embassy for inviting him to the reception to celebrate of the 52nd anniversary of Independence and National Day. He expressed his heartfelt congratulations to the government and people of Bangladesh on behalf of the Government of Japan. He referred to the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 2022. He mentioned, Japan's support for the realization of the "Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth Zone (BIG-B)" will further boost the growth in Bangladesh. In this year 2023, Japan and Bangladesh have commenced a new chapter toward the next fifty years. Referring to the recent announcement by Prime Minister Kishida on a new plan for a "Free and Open Indo-Pacific", he mentioned that Bangladesh, located at a strategic juncture, is an important partner of Japan in this regard.
On a congratulatory message, Mr. ASO Taro, President of the Japan-Bangladesh Parliamentary Friendship League expressed his heartfelt congratulations to the government and the people of Bangladesh on behalf of the Japan-Bangladesh Parliamentary Friendship League on the occasion of the 52nd Independence and National Day of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. He said the bilateral relationship is entering a new era, thanks to high economic growth of Bangladesh where Japanese support for infrastructure development such as airports, ports, and metro systems are progressing. Japanese companies are attracted to Bangladesh in terms of investment and trade.
In his remark, H.E Mr. Shahabuddin Ahmed, Ambassador of Bangladesh to Japan delightfully welcome all at the 52nd National and Independence Day celebration of Bangladesh in Tokyo. At the onset, he paid his deep reverence to the Greatest Bengali of all time, the Father of the Nation of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He also paid homage to four national leaders, all the martyrs and valiant freedom fighters of our Independence movement, and the martyred family members of the Father of the Nation. He also paid his deep respect to the Hon’ble President and Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh who have sent congratulatory messages on this occasion. On this special occasion, he conveyed his profound respect to Their Majesties, the Emperor and Empress of Japan, and greetings to the government of Hon’ble Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, and the friendly people of Japan. The Ambassador said, Bangladesh and Japan have been enjoying excellent relations since Japan recognized Bangladesh on 10 February 1972. Japan was among the first few countries to open resident diplomatic mission in Dhaka the same year. He mentioned last year, on 10th February, we celebrated in a grand manner the 50th Anniversary of our bilateral relations here in Tokyo where many of guests joined despite COVID related constraints. He said Japan has been a time-tested friend and our people always remember with gratitude the precious support and contributions of Japan not only during our independence but also later on in our developmental pursuit. Over the years, we maintained our bilateral relations based on respect, mutual trust, friendship and cooperation.
The Ambassador said, immediately after the independence and Japan’s recognition of Bangladesh, Takashi Hayakawa san, who later formed Japan-Bangladesh Association, visited Bangladesh as a Special Envoy of Japan government. Soon after the historic visit of our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to Japan took place in October 1973. The visit laid the solid foundation of a steadfast and lasting friendship. Bangladesh's Foreign Policy motto “Friendship to all and malice towards none” emanates from our Father of the Nation’s vision. Due to his pragmatic policies Bangladesh was recognized by most countries and international organizations in a short period of time. H.E. Ambassador stated that our Prime Minister holds Japan and her friendly people very close to her heart. Following that she visited Japan as Prime Minister in 1997, 2010, 2014, 2016 and 2019 which over the years have further strengthen and deepened our bilateral relations. The back-to-back visits of two Prime Ministers in 2014 bolstered the existing level of bilateral relations to a “Comprehensive Partnership”. During the past several years due to continuity in leadership, the relations have developed into multifaceted one. As committed by the leadership of the two countries, we are now poised to take the relations to a new height.
The Ambassador also elaborated on the recent development in our bilateral relations in which our partnership has been robust. He recalled that on 06 December 2022, the Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated Japan Special Economic Zone in Araihazar, Narayanganj. Bangladesh also had its first electric run Dhaka Metro Rail (MRT-6) constructed by Japan also inaugurated by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on 28 December 2022. The construction of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Railway Bridge, Terminal-3 of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport Dhaka and MRT-1 Project, and Matarbari Ultra Super Critical Coal Fired Power Project are also in advance stages of completion. Most of these projects are expected to be completed by 2026, the year Bangladesh is expected to become a developing country. These projects will not only benefit Bangladesh but also will benefit other neighboring countries using Bangladesh as a connectivity hub of South Asia and Southeast Asia. Bangladesh offers the most liberal and investor friendly environment with fiscal and non-fiscal incentives which is the most competitive in South Asia. A country of close to 170 million with 34 million middle-income and affluent class offers to be 9th largest consumer market globally by 2030 beckoning future investors and businessmen to the country. At present more than 340 Japanese companies have their operation in Bangladesh. Bangladesh ranked among top 20 Promising Countries for the 3rd consecutive year in a survey conducted by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). Therefore, there is all the encouraging factors present for more Japanese investors to invest in Bangladesh. We are developing 100 Special Economic Zones, 39 IT/ High-tech Parks and have offered Special Economic Zones to friendly countries. According to recent census, Bangladesh has a young population of 45.9 million, therefore, Bangladesh can provide human resources to Japan by imparting quality education, language and skills. We expect a good number of technical and skilled workforce would join agriculture, manufacturing and production sectors in Japan. The Ambassador concluded his remark by congratulating the fellow Bangladeshis living in Japan, including students, awardees of JDS and other scholarship holders many of whom also attended the event.
All the guests were entertained with iftar and standing buffet dinner where Bangladeshi and Japanese foods were served.