Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s plans to make an official visit to Japan on Nov 29 have changed and a new date will be fixed, according to State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam.
The state minister made the statement after a meeting with his visiting Japanese counterpart Takei Shunsuke for bilateral talks in Dhaka on Thursday.
“We have yet to make an official announcement of the visit,” Alam said. “You know that many matters are at play in diplomacy, there are advantages and disadvantages which lead to last-minute changes, which is why we wait until the last possible moment to do our curtain raisers.”
“The visit will take place soon, but a new date will be set. You may have heard a date mentioned from various sources, but currently, we will not be moving forward with that date. However, it will be soon.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other government agencies were preparing for Hasina to visit Japan from Nov 29 to Dec 1.
On Oct 27, a foreign ministry statement noted that Nov 29 to Dec 1 were the probable dates for Hasina’s visit.
Several other government notices since then have noted that Hasina may go on a trip to Japan from Nov 29 to Dec 2.
The new date will be set after discussions with the Japanese state minister of foreign affairs, who is in Dhaka for a meeting of the Indian Ocean Rim Association, said Alam.
Asked why the trip had been delayed, Alam said without elaboration, “We have several important documents, MoUs, and agreements, which we hope will be signed during the prime minister’s visit.”
In response to a question about whether the comments by Japanese Ambassador Ito Naoki on the claims of election fraud were brought up, Alam said the matter had been touched upon lightly and that he had informed Shunsuke that Bangladesh’s general elections were completely internal issues and a matter only for the people of Bangladesh to decide.
The Japanese official had nodded in response, the state minister said.