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Sri Lanka and Japan kick off celebrations over 70-years of diplomatic relations

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Prof. GL Peiris with Japanese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Mizukoshi Hideaki (Photo: Daily FT)

Sri Lanka and Japan will organise a series of events to celebrate 70 years of diplomatic relations. Japan will support Sri Lanka in setting up institutions to cement their relationship.

Talking about relations with Japan, Foreign Minister GL Peiris said: "Japan is a tried and tested friend in all circumstances. Celebration of 70 years of friendship is between the governments, people and entrepreneurs of both countries. The quality relationship between two countries has enhanced bilateral relationships, trade and student exchange programmes".

He highlighted how Japan identified the needs and priorities of Sri Lanka and provided assistance that benefited the country. "The Institute of Technology at the Colombo University is a gift from the Japanese Government", he said.

Speaking at an event, Japanese ambassador Mizukoshi Hideaki said: "Japan has enjoyed a great historic friendship with Sri Lanka spanning for seventy years. Japan has provided greater assistance to this beautiful country during this period".

The two nations have been improving their relations in political, economic, bilateral engagements, technology, investment, education and cultural dimensions.  

Meanwhile, the Government of Japan, under the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) provided Rs 300 million worth of medical equipment to nine hospitals in Sri Lanka.

The medical equipment includes ventilators, ICU beds, blood gas analysers, real-time PCR machine, automated RNA/DNA extractor, and ultra-low-temperature freezers.

The Japanese ambassador handed over the equipment to Sri Lankan Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella. Japan and its development agency JICA have stepped up support to the Sri Lankan healthcare services during the pandemic.

Mizukoshi said: "As a long-time development partner, Japan will continue to stand in solidarity to overcome this crisis and achieve further economic development in Sri Lanka".