The Prime Minister Meets with the Prime Minister
of Sri Lanka
Click photographs to enlarge
At the start of the meeting, Prime Minister Fukuda mentioned the friendly relations between Japan and Sri Lanka. Referring to an exhibition on the cultural heritage of Sri Lanka, which is being held in Japan, he said, "Japan and Sri Lanka enjoy a long history of extremely friendly exchanges. I hope that the exhibition will serve as an opportunity for many of the Japanese people to further enhance their understanding of Sri Lanka." In response, Prime Minister Wickremanayake said, "I believe that the exhibition will play a very significant role in our good bilateral relations. I also believe that the exhibition will help the Japanese people understand the culture of Sri Lanka."
At the meeting, the leaders discussed bilateral relations, the Sri Lanka ethnic problem, situations concerning human rights and humanitarian issues, and economic cooperation.
On bilateral relations, Prime Minister Wickremanayake stated that the people of Sri Lanka have a sense of affinity to Japan, owing to Japan's continued assistance to Sri Lanka's development.
On the Sri Lanka ethnic problem and situations concerning human rights and humanitarian issues, Prime Minister Fukuda expressed his concern about the Sri Lanka ethnic problem and requested strenuous efforts toward the resolution. He also indicated the international community's concern that human rights are not fully protected in Sri Lanka and requested further efforts in this regard. In response, Prime Minister Wickremanayake explained the current situation of the ethnic problem, among other matters, including responses taken by the Government of Sri Lanka.
On economic cooperation, Prime Minister Fukuda expressed his expectation that Japan's ODA loans to Sri Lanka, the implementation of which has recently been decided upon, will help the country's socioeconomic development, and requested effective use of the funds.