Abe pays tribute to war heroes, Bangabandhu
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in Dhaka this afternoon on a short — 21-hour-long — but significant visit.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina received Abe at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport as he flew in at 12:56pm in first visit of a Japanese PM in 14 years. The then premier Yoshiro Mori visited Bangladesh in 2000.
Abe and his wife, Akie Abe, were given a guard of honour at the airport before Hasina’s cabinet colleagues greeted the Japanese premier.
The Japanese PM’s total entourage member is about 150, of which 50 comprise the trade delegation.
From the airport, Japanese PM went to the National Mausoleum at Savar where he paid tributes to the martyrs of 1971 Liberation War by placing wreaths.
He then paid home to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi.
During the visit, Abe is expected to announce big investment proposals as well as financial and technical supports to help Bangladesh build up industrial base, according to officials in Bangladesh.
Dhaka is giving highest importance to investment issues, including Japan’s assistance in ensuring energy security and infrastructure development, said diplomatic sources.
Abe is scheduled to have a summit meeting with Hasina at 4:00pm today.
After introduction of Japanese business delegation, signing ceremony and joint press conference at the PMO, the Japanese premier will leave for Bangabhaban to call on President Abdul Hamid.
After that, Abe is expected to meet the leader of the opposition Raushan Ershad and former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia at Sonargaon Hotel.
In the evening, Hasina will host a banquet in honour of the visiting Japanese PM and his spouse at the Grand Ballroom of Sonargaon.
The Japanese premier is likely to visit the Institute of Fine Arts of Dhaka University before leaving for Colombo at 10:30am tomorrow.
Since Abe took over in December 2012 for the second time, Bangladesh-Japan ties have witnessed an upward swing.
When Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited Japan on May 25-28 this year, the two leaders affirmed their commitment to further strengthen bilateral cooperation and launched the “Japan-Bangladesh Comprehensive Partnership”
He is the first head of government visiting Bangladesh since the one-sided January 5 election in which as many as 154 candidates from the ruling Awami League and its partners were elected unopposed amid boycotts by the opposition BNP-led alliance.