President Mahinda Rajapaksa met with members of the Japan-Sri Lanka Parliamentary League this morning (March 14) as a part of his four-day official visit to Japan.
“We greatly appreciate Japan ’s contributions to many different sectors in Sri Lanka ,” President Rajapaksa told the parliamentarians. “In addition to meetings between the leaders of countries, I think people-to-people interactions are also very important,” President added.
Vice President of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and member of the Japanese House of Representatives Mr. Masahiko Komura commended Sri Lanka on the developments made since the end of the conflict.
“With the improvement of the security situation, the number of Japanese tourists (to Sri Lanka ) has increased, and I’m very pleased about that,” Mr. Komura said.
Mr. Komura also expressed gratitude to President Rajapaksa for his support towards Japan during the earthquake and tsunami in 2011. He recalled that, unlike many nations who withdrew their diplomats soon after the disaster, President Rajapaksa maintained Sri Lanka ’s diplomatic presence and deliberately chose not to suspend Sri Lankan flights to and from Japan.
“We, the people of Japan , were very encouraged by your support,” Mr. Komura said.
Noting that he understands the difficulties Sri Lanka is currently facing, Mr. Komura said, “I believe that with Your Excellency’s leadership, you will achieve significant results.”
Other members of the Japanese delegation included the Secretary-General of the Japan-Sri Lanka Parliamentarians Friendship League Madam Yuko Obuchi and several other parliamentarians from both the ruling and opposition parties.
Sri Lanka was represented by Senior Minister of Urban Affairs A. H. M. Fowzie, Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris, Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management Nimal Siripala de Silva, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Governor of Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal and Sri Lanka ’s Ambassador in Japan Admiral (Rtd.) Wasantha Karannagoda.