"Western nations are underestimating the development in Sri Lanka since the end of the conflict," said Taro Aso, Deputy Prime Minister of Japan when he met with President Mahinda Rajapaksa for discussions on Wednesday afternoon. President Rajapaksa is currently on a four day official visit to Japan which began Monday.
Mr. Aso who was a former Prime Minister of Japan is currently holding the position of the Finance Minister as well.
He further said "Sri Lanka's security situation is getting better. The economy is on the right track. Investors and tourists are coming to the country".
President Rajapaksa while thanking Japan for its assistance to Sri Lanka's development remarked that leaders and people of the world should visit Sri Lanka to see for themselves the progress the country had achieved in all aspects in recent times.
The Defense Minister of Japan, Itsunori Onodera also called on President Rajapaksa this afternoon. During the discussion he recalled that he served as a JICA volunteer in Sri Lanka some years before.
"Now the conflict is over. Sri Lanka had made great strides under President Rajapaksa's able leadership" he noted.
Ambassador Yasushi Akashi also met with the President at a private lunch.
During the visit, President Rajapaksa is expected to hold discussions with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and have an audience with the Emperor and Empress of Japan who will also be hosting a lunch for the President and the First Lady at the Imperial Palace.
In addition to several bilateral meetings with Japanese ministers and government officials, President Rajapaksa is also scheduled to attend a meeting of the Japan-Sri Lanka Parliamentary League.
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, Monitoring MP for Ministry of External Affairs Sajin de Vaas Gunawardena, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga and Governor of Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal are among the Sri Lankan officials, along with a business delegation, accompanying the President on his second official visit to the country.