Bangladesh Embassy in Tokyo organized a program on Monday, 11 September 2023 at the Embassy premises to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Japan Overseas Cooperations Volunteer Program (JOCV) in Bangladesh. The occasion called for double celebration as the JOCV program in Bangladesh is resuming this month after a gap of almost seven years.
Ambassador of Bangladesh to Japan H.E. Mr. Shahabuddin Ahmed, Parliamentary Vice Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan H.E. Ms. Yoshikawa Yuumi, and Senior Vice President of JICA Ms. Miyazaki Katsura were present at the event. Secretary of the Economic Relations Division (ERD) of Ministry of Finance Ms. Sharifa Khan joined online. Economic Minister of Bangladesh Embassy Mr. Syed Nasir Ershad conducted the program. Among others, high officials of important ministries, departments and agencies including Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, JICA, JETRO, JITCO as well as the past and newly recruited JOCVs as well as the Embassy officials attended the program.
In her opening speech, the ERD Secretary thanked the Bangladesh Embassy in Tokyo and JICA for organizing such befitting event on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of JOCV in Bangladesh. She said, Japan is the single largest bilateral development partner of Bangladesh with total commitment of ODA amounting to more than USD 30 billion. She expressed satisfaction that the JOCV program, which was suspended in 2016 due to an undesirable and sad incident, resumed this month and thanked the Japanese government and the people of Japan for this.
Vice Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Ms. Yoshikawa Yuumi said that the Government of Japan attaches great importance to the resumption of the JOCV program in Bangladesh. She referred Bangladesh as a special friend of Japan and hope that the relations between the two countries would improve further and the existing cooperation would continue to increase in future.
JICA Senior Vice President Miyazaki Katsura thanked the efforts of all concerned in Japan and Bangladesh for resumption of the JOCV program and hoped that this JICA Volunteer Program in Bangladesh will expand further in the future.
In his closing speech, Bangladesh Ambassador to Japan Shahabuddin Ahmed said that our father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman visited Japan in 1973 which laid the foundation of friendship between the two countries and their peoples. He also said that the 50th anniversary of JICA's JOCV program in Bangladesh has taken the existing friendly relations between the two countries to a new height. He referred to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to Japan at different times to improve the relations between the two countries and said that Bangladesh-Japan relations have been upgraded to strategic partnership through the Prime Minister's recent visit to Japan in April this year. Ambassador Shahabuddin Ahmed expressed his gratitude to Japan and its people for their unwavering support throughout. He hoped that the existing relationship between the two countries would be further strengthened in the future by increasing communication in various arena.
Earlier, JICA Director General Mr. Tachibana Hideharu made a power point presentation on JOCV activities. One Ex-JICA volunteer shared his experiences from the perspective of former volunteers’ activities. And the two newly recruited volunteers who will be going to Bangladesh soon shared their opinions too. Overall, it was a successful program which helped further strengthen the bonding between Japan and Bangladesh.