"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Japan-Bangladesh Joint Statement Enhancement of a Strong Partnership towards Peace and Prosperity in the International Community and the South Asian Region

[Date] November 29, 2010
[Source] Prime Minister of JAPAN and His Cabinet
[Full text]

1. The Prime Minister of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, H.E. Sheikh Hasina, is paying an Official Working Visit to Japan from 28 November 2010 at the invitation of the Prime Minister of Japan, H. E. Mr. Naoto Kan.

2. The two Prime Ministers held official talks on 29 November 2010 and had a constructive dialogue on bilateral, regional and global issues. They reaffirmed the importance of further enhancing the long standing close and cooperative relationship between the two countries, sharing democratic values, and they reached a common view that they will cooperate further in order to bolster global peace and security as well as the prosperity of the international community and the South Asian region.

3. The two Prime Ministers expressed satisfaction at the substantive results gained following the meeting of their respective Foreign Ministers held this year, and decided to make further efforts to strengthen high level policy consultations and to expand high-level visits and dialogue at various levels, including exchanges among opinion leaders and members of their parliaments.

4. The two Prime Ministers welcomed the steady economic growth of Bangladesh, under the "Vision 2021" to transform it into a middle-income country by the year 2021 - the 50th anniversary of its independence and noted with satisfaction the growing interest of Japanese enterprises in Bangladesh. In this regard, Prime Minister Kan underscored the need for an improved environment for investment in Bangladesh, and Prime Minister Hasina referred to the attractive investment incentives offered by Bangladesh and stated that the Government of Bangladesh will extend all possible assistance and cooperation for the smooth implementation of Japanese investment in Bangladesh. Prime Minister Hasina further stated Bangladesh's readiness to formulate and implement an Action Plan towards further enhancement of Japanese investment in Bangladesh. Prime Minister Kan expressed Japan's intention to work jointly with Bangladesh for such purposes. In this context, they decided to commence close and regular dialogues at senior official level to identify measures to strengthen their economic partnerships, including in the areas of trade, investment and infrastructure development. They also welcomed the fact that the Japan-Bangladesh Joint Committee for Commercial and Economic Cooperation, led by the private sectors in both countries has been contributing to the strengthening of bilateral economic relations.

5. The two Prime Ministers recognized the importance of infrastructure, social and human resources development for sustainable economic growth and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Prime Minister Hasina reiterated her sincere appreciation for Japan's support to core infrastructure development, such as large-scale bridges, roads, railways, power plants and electronic distribution facilities, as well as Japan's assistance in the areas of education and health. With regard to this, Prime Minister Kan announced that Japan intends to extend approximately 400 million dollars in the form of an ODA Loan to the Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project, for which Prime Minister Hasina expressed her deep appreciation. They expressed their strong expectation that the project will substantially contribute towards the economic development and poverty alleviation of Bangladesh through improved connectivity between its capital area and its east and southwest regions.

6. Prime Minister Hasina proposed that the rules of origin of Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) be relaxed on knit products, with a view to strengthening bilateral economic relations through the promotion of textile trade. Responding that a review has already started within the Japanese government on this matter, Prime Minister Kan assured Prime Minister Hasina of actively considering the proposal and reaching a conclusion at the earliest possible date.

7. The two Prime Ministers underscored the importance of promoting infrastructure development in the field of electricity, taking into account environmental aspects and with the partnership between public and private sectors. They also stressed that the enhancement of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure will create a favorable environment for the development of Bangladesh, facilitating private sector activities between the two countries and expected smooth progress in the cooperation between the two countries to improve telecommunication network.

8. The two Prime Ministers shared the view that poverty reduction and sustainable development, in particular the achievement of the MDGs, are crucial issues that the international community is facing today. Prime Minister Kan highly commended Bangladesh for its remarkable achievement in attaining the MDGs, especially in reducing child mortality, and congratulated Prime Minister Hasina on the receipt of the MDGs award for Bangladesh at the 65th United Nations General Assembly. Prime Minister Hasina thanked Japan for its continued support in the field of maternal and child health and Prime Minister Kan renewed Japan's commitment to assist Bangladesh in achieving the MDGs, especially in this field. Prime Minister Hasina highly praised the "Kan Commitment," announced on the occasion of the UN High-level Plenary Meeting, to provide assistance of 5 billion USD in the field of health and 3.5 billion USD in the field of education over five years beginning in 2011, as well as such effective assistance models as "EMBRACE" (Ensure Mothers and Babies Regular Access to Care) and "School for All." They also noted with appreciation that the innovative approaches for development, such as microcredit, led by the people of Bangladesh, and inclusive business, have been effective in contributing to poverty reduction at a global level.

9. The two Prime Ministers stressed the importance of disaster management in Bangladesh, in view of the potential threat of natural disasters that has increased due to the effects of climate change. Prime Minister Hasina highly appreciated that the development of early warning systems and cyclone shelters, built with the support from Japan and the international community, had contributed to the reduction of human casualties in Cyclone Sidr in 2007, and reiterated her appreciation to the Japanese government for assistance in the area of disaster risk reduction, including meteorological radar systems, multipurpose cyclone shelters, awareness raising programs and dialogues between the related authorities. Prime Minister Kan conveyed Japan's commitment to continue to support the strengthening of disaster reduction measures by Bangladesh in the face of its pronounced vulnerability to climate change.

10. The two Prime Ministers noted with satisfaction the important role that Japanese and Bangladeshi non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are playing in the international community, as well as the progress in their cooperative relationship. Prime Minister Hasina commended the Japanese NGOs' active contribution in Bangladesh.

11. The two Prime Ministers recognized the importance of enhancing cultural, academic and people-to-people exchanges between Japan and Bangladesh and resolved to work for their further development. Prime Minister Kan reiterated that the Government of Japan will continue to invite Bangladeshi youths and officials under the schemes of the Japanese Government Scholarship and Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resource Development Scholarship in order to support Bangladesh's efforts in the field of human resource development. They also decided to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Bangladesh in the year 2012 in an appropriate manner.

12. The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed that peace and prosperity in the South Asian region are vital for realizing peace and prosperity across Asia and in the world. Prime Minister Kan commended the initiative exercised by Bangladesh at the launch of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), and expressed his commitment to support the organization for promoting regional cooperation.

13. The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed their shared commitment to realizing "a world without nuclear weapons". They stressed the importance of early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the immediate commencement and early conclusion of negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT). They decided that both countries will enhance cooperation in nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, at relevant international fora.

14. The two Prime Ministers reiterated the urgent need for resolving the climate change challenges and the importance of strengthening dialogue on these issues in various forums. They reaffirmed their determination to constructively work together towards a successful outcome of the 16th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Mexico. They shared the view that it is essential to seek the earliest adoption of a new and comprehensive legal document which establishes a fair and effective international framework for tackling climate change, with the participation of all major economies, based on the Copenhagen Accord.

15. The two Prime Ministers reviewed the outcomes of the G20 meeting recently held in the Republic of Korea and reaffirmed that continued international cooperation is imperative to achieve sustainable world growth. They also welcomed G20's commitment to development issues and stressed, in particular, the importance of taking into consideration the needs of Least Developed Countries(LDCs), Landlocked Developing Countries(LLDCs) and Small Island Developing States(SIDs), whose development challenges are most acute. Prime Minister Hasina sought the active participation of Japan in the upcoming LDC IV Conference in Istanbul. Prime Minister Kan assured Prime Minister Hasina of his government's continued support for LDCs.

16. The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed their determination to strengthen their cooperation for early reform of the UN Security Council (UNSC), which would include the expansion of both permanent and non-permanent categories, in order to render the body more representative, legitimate, effective and responsive to the realities of the international community in the 21st century. In response to Bangladesh's support for Japan's permanent membership in the UNSC, Prime Minister Kan expressed appreciation for the support.

17. The two Prime Ministers shared the view that UN peacekeeping operations constitute an integral part of the post conflict peacebuilding process. They reaffirmed their commitment in continuing to work closely in various international fora to enhance the overall effectiveness of UN peacekeeping operations, Bangladesh as the highest troop-contributing country and Japan, as the second largest financial contributor respectively.

18. The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed their unequivocal condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Recognizing that the threat of terrorism remains a global security concern, they reiterated their determination to address the threat posed by terrorists to the peace, security, stability and prosperity in the region.

19. Prime Minister Hasina expressed her appreciation for the warm hospitality of Prime Minister Kan. Prime Minister Hasina extended a cordial invitation to Prime Minister Kan to visit Bangladesh. Prime Minister Kan received the invitation with profound appreciation.

Tokyo, 29 November, 2010

Mr. Naoto Kan

Prime Minister of Japan

Sheikh Hasina

Prime Minister

People's Republic of Bangladesh