President Mainhda Rajapaksa extended an open invitation to all Japanese people to come and witness the beauty and rapid development taking place in the country, especially in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.
The President observed that the friendship between Sri Lanka and Japan has been flourishing each day. He noted that Japan with its long lasting friendship with Sri Lanka has contributed greatly towards the betterment of the country.
President Rajapaksa made these comments participating in a commemoration ceremony held at the residence of the Japanese ambassador to Sri Lanka in remembrance of over 19,000 victims of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami catastrophe.
Responding to a question by a Japanese journalist from NHK channel, the President also said that people have been resettled in the North and East following the demining of these areas.
He also noted that the government has been undertaking tremendous work for infrastructure development, carpeting of roads and construction of schools and hospitals. He noted that the government’s main task is to build national unity among all communities in the country.
The President observed that over one million tourists would visit Sri Lanka during this year adding that the Japanese people would also share a considerable percentage among them.
President Rajapaksa also recalled with gratitude the immense support given by Japan during the tsunami catastrophe in 2004. He said that the government and the Sri Lankan people were deeply saddened to hear of the tsunami in Japan last year.
External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris was grateful for the support extended by Japan to improve mutual goodwill.
Japanese ambassador to Sri Lanka Nobuhitho Hobo appreciated Sri Lanka’s support during the tsunami tragedy.
He also said that Japan would always extend its support to Sri Lanka, to sustain peace and prosperity and to expedite the development process.
First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa also participated in this event.