Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono made the request at the bilateral meeting with his counterpart AH Mahmood Ali on Tuesday as the safety and security issue of Japanese nationals in Bangladesh remained an issue of concern for Japan.
Press Secretary at the Japan foreign ministry Takeshi Osuga briefing a select group of reporters after the meeting said apart from the bilateral meeting, the safety and security issue was also discussed with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The July 1, 2016 terrorist attack left seven Japanese, who were JICA’s technical advisers, killed. Japan is one of the biggest development partners of Bangladesh.
Since then Japan has issued travel alert to Bangladesh which businesses said was hurting investments.
The government has been requesting Japan to review the alert since there had been no such attacks after the Holey Artisan bakery.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali after the bilateral meeting said Bangladesh is “grateful” to Japan for the support and understanding shown after the terror attack in Dhaka’s Gulshan.
“Investigation of the Holey Artisan incident is being conducted with the highest priority and charge-sheet has been submitted to court on 23 July 2018,” he said at a joint press briefing.
“I hope Japan will stand in solidarity with Bangladesh in our fight against terrorism and review its travel alert,” Ali added.
Asked, the Japanese press secretary said the travel alert was issued after “comprehensively” assessing each country’s “political and social situation from a mid to long term perspective”.
“It’s not that [alert is being raised] this month and then [downgraded] next month. It’s not the case,” he said.
Press Secretary Osuga said Foreign Minister Kono requested Bangladesh government “to share relevant information based on the charge-sheet submitted to the court.”
The Japanese minister also sought “conducive” environment for Japanese investors including safety measures as they want to continue to support Bangladesh to achieve its middle-income goals by 2021.
The press secretary said during his 40-minute meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Kono requested Bangladesh to continue to take further measures for the security and safety of Japanese expatriates in Bangladesh.
“In response to that, the prime minister said incident such as that should never happen again and that the government is taking necessary measures to prevent that.”
Hasina also thanked Japan for the cooperation it has been extending to Bangladesh. She wished to “closely cooperate” with Japan in future, the press secretary said.
He said the Bangladesh foreign minister told that the government would do in every possible manner for the safety of Japanese people.
The Japanese foreign minister touched on the students demonstrations in Dhaka and said that hoped that the issue would be taken care of “peacefully”.
He expected that the upcoming general elections be conducted in a “peaceful and democratic way”, his press secretary said.
Kono said the Bangladesh minister explained at length those issues which he said “domestic” in nature.
Mahmood Ali also said that situation over students protest is under control now.
Both sides agreed to celebrate the 50 years of diplomatic relations jointly in 2022.