Press Releases 2017

Date                                                            Title                                                                
04/19/2017 Handing over ceremony of Japan’s emergency relief goods to Sri Lanka
04/17/2017 Disaster Relief Assistance to Sri Lanka in response to the collapse of Meethotamulla garbage fill
04/12/2017 Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s visit to Japan: three projects signed
04/11/2017 Theldeniya Base Hospital upgraded with Japanese Assistance
04/10/2017 An Official Visit by the Japanese Ambassador to Galle and Hambantota Districts
03/31/2017 Spouses of the Japanese Embassy Staff Support Better Future for Sri Lankan Youth
03/16/2017 Japan organized Women, Peace and Security seminar in Matara
02/23/2017 A famous Japanese film Character, “Tora-san” speaks in Sinhalese on ITN
02/20/2017 Japan to extend waste collection trucks for "Clean and Green Galle"
02/17/2017 Grand opening of the Japan Visa Application Centre in Colombo, Sri Lanka 

Kaluwanchikudy Base Hospital is improved with Japanese Assistance

01/25/2017 Ambassador of Japan Welcomes JDS Scholarship Fellows at his residence             

Newly expanded Kandana Water Treatment Plant by the Government of Japan inaugurates to distribute Clean Water to the Public

April 19, 2017

Handing over ceremony of Japan’s emergency relief goods to Sri Lanka
The Government of Japan today handed over emergency relief goods for the people affected by the collapse of Meethotamulla garbage fill in the Colombo District. The ceremony was held this evening at the Ministry of Disaster Management, with attendance of H.E. Kenichi Suganuma, Ambassador of Japan and Hon. Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, Minister of Disaster Management of Sri Lanka.

    The following is the full list of emergency relief goods provided to Sri Lanka through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to meet its humanitarian needs.
Emergency Relief Goods List
      Item                                                           Unit    
Tents                                                           100
Sleeping pads                                              500
Portable jerry cans                                      250
Water Purifiers                                       10
Generators                                                    10
Floodlight equipment with generators    10
Headlights                                                     25
Poisonous Gas Detectors                                5
High Accuracy GPSs                                      5
Mobile Toilets                                                 5

    Japan has also decided to dispatch the Disaster Relief Expert team, who will arrive in Sri Lanka shortly. They will hold discussions with the emergency team of the Ministry of Disaster Management and other stakeholders on how to expedite the relief efforts and to reduce further risks. Japan is determined to continue to assist Sri Lanka in the field of disaster risk reduction.
    The Government and people of Japan sincerely hope that the people of Sri Lanka will overcome this tragedy and strengthen the society’s resilience against disasters.

April 17, 2017

 Disaster Relief Assistance to Sri Lanka in response to the collapse of Meethotamulla garbage fill

On April 15, Mr. Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan has sent his message to the Prime Minister Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe, expressing his heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the government and affected people who have been suffering from losses and damages caused the collapse of Meethotamulla garbage fill, and wishing for rapid rehabilitation and reconstruction of the affected area. Prime Minister Abe also conveyed Japan’s readiness to provide disaster relief assistance to Sri Lanka.
Accordingly, today the Government of Japan has decided to provide emergency relief goods (portable jerry cans, tents, sleeping pads, water purifier, generator) to Sri Lanka through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in response to the request from Sri Lanka.

April 12, 2017

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s visit to Japan: three projects signed

On the occasion of the Sri Lankan Prime Minister’s visit to Japan, the Exchange of Notes for the three development projects amounting to 45.7 billion Japanese Yen (approximately Rs. 61.3 billion) were signed on April 12, 2017 in Tokyo between H.E. Mr. Kenichi Suganuma, Ambassador of Japan on behalf of the Government of Japan and H.E. Prof. Dhamika Ganganath Dissanayake, Ambassador of Sri Lanka on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka in the presence of H.E. Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister, and Hon. Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe. The signed projects were Kalu Ganga Water Supply Expansion Project (I), Rural Infrastructure Development Project in Emerging Regions and Trincomalee Port Development Programme, to facilitate social and economic development of Sri Lanka in line with its development agenda.
The details of the projects are as follows:
i.Kalu Ganga Water Supply Expansion Project (I): Japanese Yen 31.8 billion (approximately Rs. 43 billion) concessional Yen Loan will be provided for improving the accessibility to safe drinking water through the expansion of Kalu Ganga Water Supply System by adding the capacity of 140,000 m3/d to the system and restructuring water distribution networks in the Southern area of the Western Province.  The Government of Japan previously supported the Stage I and Stage II of the Kalu Ganga Water Supply Project (Phase I) by adding the capacity of 120,000 m3/d to the water supply system in the Western Province.
ii.Rural Infrastructure Development Project in Emerging Regions : Japanese Yen 12.9 billion (approximately Rs. 17 billion) concessional Yen Loan will be provided to upgrade over 400  rural roads, small and medium irrigation facilities and community water supply systems in Northern, Eastern, North Central and Uva provinces. The project as a whole will enhance the livelihood and improve living standards of the people in the regions. 
iii.Trincomalee Port Development Programme : Japanese Yen 1 billion (approximately Rs. 1.3 billion) grant will be provided to procure the products such as mooring buoy and vessel, light bouy, automatic identification system and lights, which are all manufactured by Japanese enterprises to improve the facilities at the Tricomalee Port in order to enhance its daily port operations.


April 11, 2017

Theldeniya Base Hospital upgraded with Japanese Assistance

Japanese assisted Theldeniya Base Hospital complex was opened under the patronage of His Excellency President, Maithripala Sirisena and Mr. Koji Yagi, Charge d ’Affaires ad interim, Embassy of Japan, at Theldeniya on the 11th of April 2017. 
The Government of Japan provided 3,935 million Japanese Yen (approximately LKR. 5,232 million) through JICA under the project “Improvement of Basic Social Services Targeting Emerging Regions”. The project aims to provide four secondary hospitals in Sri Lanka with facilities and necessary equipment to implement early detection, treatment and prevention of non-communicable diseases. Kaluwanchikudi Base Hospital and Warakapola Base Hospital were refurbished and vested to public recently under this project and Theldeniya Base Hospital was the third in line. Theldeniya Base Hospital was revamped with a five storied Operation Theatre Complex, Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU), Judicial Medical Office Unit and latest Bio Medical equipment to ensure quality health care to the community of Central Province.
The Government of Japan hopes that this assistance will be effectively utilized to the welfare of the people seeking treatments in Sri Lanka to improve their health conditions and facilitate the long term development.


April 10, 2017

An Official Visit by the Japanese Ambassador to Galle and Hambantota Districts

Lunch between the Ambassador and students
in Galle

Handing over the report to participants


H. E. Mr. Kenichi Suganuma, Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka met “ Tsunami awarded” students in Galle and celebrated the Model Village opening in Hambantota District with Hon. Minister of Housing and Construction.

Ambassador with Hon. Minister at Galwewa
in Hambantota District

Address by the Ambassador at the ceremony

On  April 6, Ambassador Suganuma visited Galle Fort and met 6 students who had participated in the High School Students Summit on “World Tsunami Awareness Day” in Japan last November.  The students shared their impressions on Japan, and told him what they have learnt from Japan’s experience of the devastating tsunami in 2011 and it’s efforts in disaster risk reduction. In addition, the students made presentations on the efforts underway in their own region regarding disaster management.
On April 7, Ambassador Suganuma attended the opening ceremony of “Sathmithugama” Model Village organized by Ministry of Housing and Construction with the attendance of Hon. Minister Sajith Premadasa, and Ambassador made a congratulatory speech in the ceremony.


 March 31, 2017

Spouses of the Japanese Embassy Staff Support Better Future for Sri Lankan Youth 

A sum of Rs. 311,350 was donated to two NGOs, namely “Surangani Voluntary Service (SVS)” and “Only One World (OOW)”, at a donation presentation ceremony presided over by Madam Akiko Suganuma, Spouse of Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka at the Japanese Ambassador’s official residence on Thursday, 30 March 2017.
The fund was raised by the Association of Spouses of the Japanese Embassy Staff (ASJES) through International Christmas Charity Bazar(ICCB) 2016 held at the Hilton Colombo Residence on 28 November 2016. The Association (ASJES) has supported activities of many NGOs in Sri Lanka over the past 30 years.
SVS was founded in 1992 and supports mainly preschool education in Sri Lanka. The organization was represented by its Director Ms. Shigeko Baba at the ceremony. The donation from ASJES will be utilized to buy musical instruments and costumes for Marching Band of 35 children at Little Tree Disabled Children Center. This is the 16th donation from ASJES to SVS since 2001. Learning patience and concentration through the practice of musical instruments, and experiencing the joy of playing music with others, is a great way to support children’s growth and development. And ASJES is honored to be supporting such a worthy cause.
OOW was founded in 1991 by former Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Japan Mr. Arthur Basnayake and his wife Mrs. Damini Basnayake. OOW grants scholarships to bright and deserving students who face difficulty in attending schools due to economic challenges, and also donates medical equipment to hospitals. This is the 5th donation from ASJES to OOW since 2013.The donation from ASJES will be utilized to award monthly stipends for 4 years to two students, Miss. ATHUKORALA ARACHCHIGE ASHANI LAKSHIKA and Miss. ATHUKORALA ARACHCHIGE CHAMODI LAKSHIKA.
These two awardees expressed their gratitude to OOW and Japan at the ceremony. Mrs. Damini Basnayake, who represented OOW at the ceremony, mentioned that the scholarships through OOW were extremely helpful for students from economically challenged backgrounds.

 March 16, 2017

Japan organized Women, Peace and Security seminar in Matara


The Government of Japan organized a seminar on Women, Peace and Security at the Matara District Secretariat auditorium on 9th March in collaboration with the United States, Sri Lanka, Australia and UN Women.
 The Pacific Partnership started in 2007 in order to strengthen collaboration among the U.S. Navy and its partner countries, particularly through humanitarian assistance and international disaster relief related activities, such as providing medical care and conducting civil engineering business.
As a part of the program of Pacific Partnership 2017(PP17), the seminar shared experiences from the United State, Australia, UN Women and Japan in formulating the National Action Plan on Women, Security and Peace, based on United Nation Security Council resolution 1325, which was adopted in 2000 and encourages member states to incorporate gender perspectives in their respective peace and security efforts. More than one hundred people from the Government of Sri Lanka and civil society participated in the seminar.
The seminar was opened by a welcome remark from the Embassy of Japan, followed by active panel discussions. One of the participants asked how the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security could be reflected to other policies. An official of the Government of Japan responded to it by explaining that the Basis Plan for Gender Equality, requires any other policies to reflect the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.

The armed conflict in Sri Lanka came to an end in 2009. Sri Lanka is now on the path towards achieving peace and development. In addition, Sri Lanka is located in the area which is often affected by natural disasters. In 2004, Tsunami affected all coastal area, especially the south and eastern part of Sri Lanka, including Matara. In 2015, large landslides affected the entire island, and since the end of last year, droughts have been affecting all over the island.
The Government of Sri Lanka had already formulated the draft of National Action Plan on Women, Security and Peace in 2008.  Sharing experience from the United States, Australia, UN Women and Japan would contribute to Sri Lanka with the restart of its further development of National Action Plan on Women, Security and Peace.

 March 9, 2017

Japan supports inclusive development in Trincomalee, Kandy and Moneragala

The Government of Japan has agreed to provide US$296,520 (approx. RS. 42.7 million) for three projects for inclusive development by supporting resettled fishermen in Trincomalee, victims of gender based violence in Kandy, and persons with disabilities in Moneragala. The grant contracts were signed under the scheme; “Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Securities Project (GGP)” on 9th March at the Embassy of Japan, between His Excellency Mr. Kenichi Suganuma, Ambassador of Japan and Dr. Harsha Kumara Navaratne, Chairman of Sevalanka Foundation, Ms. S. G. Stephen Chairperson of Women Development Center and Mr. Wickramage Nalin Vipulendra, President of Surangani Voluntary Services, respectively.
“The project for the Economic and Social Integration of the IDP returnees to Sampur in Trincomalee District”, to be implemented by Sevalanka Foundation with US$93,022 (approx. Rs. 13.5 million), will benefit 189 members fishermen’s society through the construction of fishermen’s facility, provision of fishing gears, renovation of roads. About 60 pre-school children will also be provided improved preschool education environment.
Dr. Harsha Kumara Navaratne, Director of Sevalanka Foundation mentioned; “Sevalanka’s continued cooperation with the government of Japan through the GGP funding initiated in the year 2002 is further strengthened with the agreement to implement a project this year; that will lead to improved income and quality of life and wellbeing of the children of recent returnees to Sampur. This project will trail on the decades of support that the Japanese Government and Sevalanka together provided for the vulnerable communities in their sustained resettlement.”
“The Project for the renovation of the shelter facility for survivors of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Kandy”, to be implemented by Women‘s Development Center with US$110,236 (Approx. Rs. 16 million), will focus on renovating a shelter for victims of Gender Based violence to provide a safe and secure space and a hygienic environment. It will also help to expand the premises to accommodate more people as the current shelter caters to a lesser number compared to the actual requirement.
Ms. S. G. Stephen Chairperson of Women Development Center expressed that; “The Shelter for the survivors of gender based violence located in the Kandy district is a safe haven that houses an average of 450 girls and women survivors of GBV per year. Residents are provided various services contributing towards their empowerment and social integration. Renovating and extending building facilities at the shelter will significantly improve housing and access within the shelter as well as improve the facilities made available to the residents.”
“The Project for the Construction of Model Resource Center for the Persons with Disabilities in Buttala Division, Moneragala District”, to be implemented by Surangani Voluntary Services with US$90,360 (Approx. RS. 13 million), will focus on construction of a Resource Center in Buttala, in Moneragala District, providing not only medical rehabilitation and therapy services for persons with disabilities but also training program on special needs for school teachers and social welfare officers.
Mr. Wickramage Nalin Vipulendra, President of Surangani Voluntary Services noted; “We have gained skill and love for children with special needs and their families in the Buttala area since we started working there in 2011. Surangani Voluntary Services with the cooperation of the Government officers who are keen to help, will create a new model Resource Center for people who have been left behind. This place includes a therapy room, library, meeting place, auditorium, counselling room and an IT Center. The project will be a wonderful model for how the public sector and NGOs can work and support each other to develop better quality of life for all. We hope this place will be the best model in Sri Lanka”.

 February 27, 2017

Japanese Grant Aid to support counterterrorism capabilities of the Government of Sri Lanka

The Government of Japan provided a grant of Japanese Yen 250 million (approximately 332 million Sri Lankan Rupees) to the Government of Sri Lanka for the procurement of counterterrorism and public security equipment, such as network camera monitoring system and x-ray cargo inspecting system manufactured by Japanese enterprises in order to enhance the capacity of the Government of Sri Lanka in counterterrorism and public security.  
The Exchange of Notes for the above project was signed between H.E. Mr. Kenichi Suganuma, Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka and Dr. R H S Samaratunga, Secretary, Ministry of Finance, on February 27, 2017 at the Ministry of Finance in Sri Lanka .

 February 23, 2017

A famous Japanese film Character, “Tora-san” speaks in Sinhalese on ITN

A very famous Japanese film series (total 48 episodes) of “Otoko wa Tsuraiyo” (It’s tough being a man), starring Japanese actor Kiyoshi Atsumi as “Tora-san”,  a kind-hearted vagabond, who is always unluckily in love, will start to be telecasted by ITN from February this year.
The first episode will begin on 26 February at 4:05 p.m. followed by each episode to be telecasted on every Sunday at 4:05 p.m. The programme has been subtitled in English and dubbed into Sinhalese.  
The Tora-san movies were directed by Yoji Yamada and actor Kiyoshi Atsumi continued to play the role of Tora-san throughout 48 episodes over 26 years (1969-1995).  Director Yoji Yamada is among the most renown film direcotors in Japan, whereas actor Kiyoshi Atsumi was among the most respected actors in Japan who received “People’s Honor Award” (similar to  Deshamanya in Sri Lanka) in 1996 immediately after his decease.
The film series is provided by the Embassy of Japan in Sri Lanka under the special courtesy of the Japan Foundation, and we do hope that many Sri Lankans will enjoy the series and become more interested in Japan.
The story of the films in detail goes like this:
The main character “Tora-san” is a traveling salesman who wanders from town to town by peddling his wares with a small suitcase and some pocket money as his sole possessions. Once in a while he yearns to return to his relative home in Shibamata, Tokyo.
His family members include Sakura (his kind-hearted younger sister), Hiroshi (Sakura's husband), Mitsuo (son of Sakura and Hiroshi), Tatsuzō (Tora-san's elderly uncle) and Tsune (Tora-san's elderly aunt). Tatsuzō and Tsune run a traditional sweets (Dango) shop in Shibamata.
Each time Tora-san unexpectedly drops in on his family, he creates troubles. While the family members are glad to see him, eventually they end up in argument with Tora-san, and he storms off with his belongings just as suddenly.
Some time later, he arrives in some remote town to peddle his wares to the locals. There he meets a "Madonna", whether she be a widow or divorced or in some kind of distress. Tora-san usually tells the damsel to visit his family's Dango shop to receive help. When she arrives there, Tora-san’s family members come to know that Tora-san has fallen in love with her.
However, in his shy efforts to win the Madonna's heart, Tora-san always ends up in failure or, in some cases, in paring her with another man. Then Tora-san, with his brave face but broken heart, wanders off again on his journey.

 February 20, 2017

Japan to extend waste collection trucks for "Clean and Green Galle"

The Ambassador of Japan H.E. Mr. Kenichi Suganuma and The Municipal Commissioner of Galle Municipal Council Mr. Ranil Wickramasekara signed a grant contract worth US$ 103,487 (approx. 15 million Sri Lankan Rupees), on 20th February 2017 at the Embassy of Japan in Colombo, aimed to upgrade solid waste management process of Galle by providing 5 Japanese waste collection trucks (compacters).
The project will include not only the provision of 5 trucks but also training for the maintenance of such vehicles from Japan. Upgraded waste management service by the project will contribute to a vision of "Clean and Green Galle" which enhances clean and hygienic environment in Galle city and suburbs. The 5 trucks to be handed over to Galle Municipal Council are the second stream of donation by Okayama city in Japan, through the dedicated coordination of the Society for Promotion of Japanese Diplomacy (SPJD), which coordinate donation of second-hand vehicles such as waste collection trucks to foreign countries.
The Galle Municipal Council received 5 Compacters from Okayama City 3 years ago, however, this number is not adequate to fulfil the total requirement to facilitate the collection of all the waste in Galle Municipal Council Area.
According to Municipal Commissioner Wickramasekara, a major portion of the municipal waste amounting to 40 – 45 tons per day is currently being collected by quite old tractors.
Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project (GGP) is one of Japan's ODA schemes dedicated specifically for local government and NGOs to contribute to rural development and to upgrade living standards of communities. So far a total of 930 vehicles have been provided to 63 countries under this scheme through the coordination of the SPJD to strengthen friendly and cordial relationships between the government of Japan and other partner countries.

 February 17, 2017

Grand opening of the Japan Visa Application Centre
in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Application ‘drop-off’ facilities are also launched in 9 cities to increase accessibility to visa services for residents

COLOMBO: The Embassy of Japan in Sri Lanka has signed a contract with VFS Global to open dedicated visa application facilities for more accessibility to the residents of Sri Lanka and other nationals travelling to Japan. The Japan Visa Application Centre, located in the heart of Colombo and operated by VFS Global, was inaugurated by H.E. Mr Kenichi Suganuma, Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka at the opening ceremony held on 17 February 2017.
Mr. Daisuke Kobayashi, Senior Director and Mr. Taiga Uezono, Director of the Japan National Tourism Organization Singapore Office participated in this ceremony together with other distinguished guests.
Speaking about the launch, Ambassador Suganuma said, “In recent years, the number of people traveling between Japan and Sri Lanka has increased, resulting in over 20,000 visa applications being submitted to the Embassy for the first time in 2016, triple the number of applications that was received 5 years ago. With the launch of Japan visa application centres in Colombo and Jaffna, we aim to cater to the increasing volume of visa applications, by reducing the waiting time and offering extended hours for submissions, as well as outreaching to 09 major cities outside of Colombo for application, which would surely ensure greater accessibility and convenience to applicants.”
Commenting on the launch, Mr. Vinay Malhotra, COO – Middle East and South Asia,
VFS ­Global, said, "With the opening of the Japan Visa Application Centre in Colombo, travellers to Japan will now get their visas processed through our professionally managed services. We are confident that these centres will positively contribute to the strong ties of travel between the two countries, by maintaining best-in-class standards of service quality for applicants.”
With this launch, applicants seeking visas to Japan for business, education or tourism purposes, can submit their applications at VFS Global’s Japan Visa Application Centre conveniently located in Colombo. Visa applications will no longer be accepted at the Embassy of Japan in Colombo. This new centre is located at 4 1/1, Geethanjali Place, Colombo - 03, Sri Lanka.
To increase accessibility to visa services for applicants living outside Colombo, VFS Global has also launched visa application drop-off centres in 9 cities across Sri Lanka. The drop-off centres shall merely act as collection and distribution centres for visa applications and processed passports. All applications are forwarded from these locations to the main processing centre in Colombo. Applications can be submitted at the VFS Global Visa Application Centre in Jaffna, or at any of the Aramex ‘drop-off’ centres in Kandy, Kurunegala, Galle, Puttalam, Katunayake, Peliyagoda, Biyagama and Ratmalana.
VFS Global also manages Japan visa processing services in Russia, India, Thailand, P.R. China and Vietnam, and has been serving the Government of Japan since 2010. VFS Global consistently strives to support the client government in smoothly processing large volumes of visa applications and to enhance accessibility to visa application facilities for leisure, MICE (Meeting, Incentive tour, Convention/Conference, Exhibition), and business travellers, so that the Embassy can focus on the key task of adjudication of visa applications.

Key features of the centre include:
  • Skilled staff well-versed with the local language to handle applications and queries
  • Extended operating hours enabling visitors to submit applications at their time of convenience
  • 100% secure handling of passports, documents and personal information
  • Dedicated website for easy access to information including visa categories, requirements, checklist, applicable fees, visa status update
  • Doorstep delivery of passports

Japan Visa Application Centre
Address: 4 1/1, Geethanjali Place,  Colombo - 03, Sri Lanka
Helpline: +94720910106 | 0800 hrs - 1700 hrs | Monday to Friday (except declared holidays)
Submission Timings: 0800 hrs – 1600 hrs | Monday - Friday (except holidays as declared by the Embassy)
Document Collection: 0800 hrs – 1600 hrs | Monday - Friday (except holidays as declared by the Embassy)
VFS Global will be responsible only for accepting applications on behalf of client missions. All applications submitted will continue to be assessed and processed by the respective consulates and embassies. Timelines for turnaround of visas are as per the discretion of the authorities.
About VFS Global
VFS Global is the world's largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide. With 2214 application centres, operations in 126 countries across five continents and over 135 million applications processed as on 31 December 2016,
VFS Global serves the interests of 50 client governments. VFS Global’s worldwide operations are certified ISO 9001:2008 for Quality Management System, ISO 27001:2013 for Information Security Management System and ISO 14001:2004 for Environmental Management System.

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