President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is on a four day official visit to Japan attended several events of social and bilateral significance yesterday.
The President participated in the inauguration of the Sri Lanka food festival at Hotel Imperial, aimed at bringing greater awareness of the country’s cuisine and beverages in Japan.
Both President and First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa later attended a private lunch with former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and several other Japanese officials.
Former Premier Fukuda told President Rajapaksa that he had been very impressed with Sri Lanka’s rapid development during his visit on an earlier occasion. He said that Japan was happy about the peace and progress Sri Lanka has achieved.
In the afternoon the President visited ‘Tama’ zoo in Tokyo where he gifted two baby elephants as a mark of 60 years of diplomatic relations between Japan and Sri Lanka.
Princess Tsuguko of Takamado and former Prime Minister Fukuda too accompanied the President.
The Princess whilst recalling the gifting of a baby elephant named ‘Anura’ by Sri Lanka to the zoo on a previous occasion thanked the President for the latest gift.
A large number of Japanese children who had gathered to welcome the President and the First Lady at the zoo too thanked them for the gifting of elephants to their zoo. The children sang songs both in Sinhala and Japanese whilst conveying their appreciation. Ministers G.L. Peiris, Nimal Siripala de Silva, A.H.M.Fowzie, Jayaratne Herath, Monitoring MP for Ministry of External Affairs Sajin de Vaas Gunawardena, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga and Sri Lanka’s Ambassodor to Japan Admiral Wasanbtha Karannagoda too accompanied the President during his visit to the zoo.