Japan Provides Rs. 524 million Grant Aid for Purchase of
Essential Bio-medical Equipment
The Government of Japan granted 400 million Japanese Yen (approximately Rs. 524 million) to the Government of Sri Lanka for procuring a range of essential bio-medical equipment manufactured in East Japan, especially in the Tohoku region aimed at enhancing the quality of health services provided by rural, urban and national hospitals in the country. The great earth quake that hit East Japan in 2011 caused severe damages to the local economy and this grant scheme will mutually benefit both the people and the economies of the Tohoku region and Sri Lanka as well.
The type of equipment provided under “Japan’s Grant Aid for Provision of Industrial Products” scheme was selected by the Government of Sri Lanka in consultation with line agencies concerned. The people and the Government of Japan hope that the equipment provided will be effectively utilized to provide quality health care services to the people.
The signing of the Exchange of Notes took place today between H.E. Mr. Nobuhito Hobo, Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka and Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Planning at the Ministry of Finance and Planning.
Visit of Mr. Yasushi Akashi, Representative
of the Government of Japan to Sri Lanka
Following on the successful conduct of the first Northern Provincial Council Elections in Sri Lanka, which was welcomed by Japan as a significant step forward in the national reconciliation process after many years of conflict, the Government of Japan has decided to dispatch Mr. Yasushi Akashi, Representative of the Government of Japan for Peace-Building, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction in Sri Lanka from 8th to 13th December 2013.
During his stay Mr. Akashi will call on His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Honourable Prof. G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, other government officials and representatives of opposition parties as well as members of civil societies. During his meetings with government officials and others Mr. Akashi will emphasize the importance of continued efforts for national reconciliation toward the establishment of lasting peace.
For Mr. Akashi, this will be the 23rd visit to Sri Lanka since he assumed the post in 2002.
Japan extended US$ 104,835 for the Project for Improving Educational Environment
of Mannar North Echchalawakkai Primary School in Mannar District
The Government of Japan has provided US$ 104,835 (over Rs,12.5million) grant for the ‘Project for Improving Educational Environment of Mannar North Echchalawakkai Primary School in Mannar district’ under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project (GGP).
The Project for Improving Educational Environment at Mannar North Echchalawakkai Primary School’ will be implemented by Plan Sri Lanka in Manthai West DS division in Mannar district. The project aims at construction of a school building, an administrative building, an aesthetic / activity building, sanitation facilities, establishment of a water scheme with water taps and establishment of a children’s play area. In order to improve the teaching skill of teachers, Plan Sri Lanka will conduct a series of teacher’s training while conducting training programmes for parents in realizing children’s right to receive education under the proper environment.
Japan provides its assistance to this project under the focus of ‘Development of Emerging Regions’ enshrined in the Country Assistance Policy for Sri Lanka. The Government of Japan believes that recovery of livelihood and economic growth of the people who live in poverty ridden areas, need to be complemented by addressing core issues like infrastructure rehabilitation. An integrated approach in this nature will pave the way to reconciliation, durable peace and inclusive development in all parts of the country in the long run.
Mr. Ned Espy Country Director of Plan Sri Lanka stated that “Plan’s vision is of a world in which all children realise their full potential. Following that vision, Plan Sri Lanka is working in Sri Lanka for 32 years with the most poor and vulnerable children so they can move themselves from a life of poverty to a future with opportunity. Plan’s education programme aims to ensure that children aged 0-5 years receive good quality early childhood care and development (ECCD) education and children aged 6-11 years receive good quality primary education through Child Friendly School Framework (CFS). Plan Sri Lanka is one of the key partners who supports the Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Education to implement the CFS Programme in the country. Plan focus on the three key areas of access, quality and governance to improve the status of primary education throughout the country including the post-conflict areas. The Embassy of Japan pledged its support for Plan Sri Lanka to develop school facilities at the Echchalawakkai Primary School in Mannar North, as part of Plan’s education programme to provide opportunities for the most marginalized children affected by the war”.
The Grant Contract was signed between His Excellency Mr. Nobuhito Hobo, Ambassador of Japan and Mr. Ned Espy Country Director, Plan Sri Lanka on December 5, 2013 at the Ambassador’s Residence in Colombo.
Japan provides food aid to support WFP’s School Meals Program in the North
The Government of Japan decided to provide food grant assistance to the value of 220 million Japanese Yen (approximately Rs. 282 million) to the Government of Sri Lanka through the World Food Program to support the ongoing School Meals Program in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. The Ministry of Economic Development will oversee the distribution of the food assistance. There was much concern about the nutrition levels of the resettled IDPs, especially children in the North, and Japan provided grant assistance amounting to 120 million Japanese Yen (approximately Rs. 180 million) in 2012 to support a nutrition program. The need for continuation of the nutrition program for children still exists, since children need good nutrition for proper physical growth and also to perform well at school.
As part of this food grant assistance, Japan will provide canned fish which is manufactured in the areas devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, but processed in an area with a no radiation threat and examined for safety by third party organization. The products are the same as those sold in the Japanese market. The grant assistance will be mutually beneficial to both Japan and Sri Lanka. Japan hopes this assistance would improve the living conditions of the children in the North and also further strengthen the long-standing friendship between our two countries.
The signing of the grant agreement took place in Rome on November 26th, 2013 between H.E. Mr. Masaharu Kohno, Ambassador of Japan to Italy and Mr. Amir Abdulla, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, UN World Food Program. (END)
Five Sri Lankan Artistes Honoured
with Bunka (Cultural) Awards
The 20th Bunka (Cultural) Awards ceremony organized by the Japan Sri Lanka Friendship Cultural Fund was held on Saturday 26th October 2013 at the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, Colombo 07. The Bunka Awards are presented annually by the Fund, which was established in 1993, on the initiative of the Japanese Solidarity Association and the Japanese Commerce and Industry Association in Sri Lanka, in collaboration with the Embassy of Japan. For the past twenty years, 108 such awards have been presented to mid-career individuals and organizations on the basis of their creative activities in culture and the arts, in order to encourage and promote individual and collective talent in these fields in Sri Lanka. These awards have been presented to artistes in the fields of drama, theatre, dance, music, painting, sculpture and pottery, photography, lyric writing, literature, video animation and visual arts to name a few.
This year the following five Sri Lankan artists received the prestigious Bunka (Cultural) Awards.
- Mr. Liyanage Amarakeerthi - Literature
- Mrs. Nayana Hettiarachchi - Drama/Film
- Mr. Priyankara Rathnayake - Drama & Theatre
- Mr. Shanmuganathan Thibaharan - Music
- Mrs. Uresha Ravihari Wickramasinghe - Music
H.E. Mr. Nobuhito Hobo, Ambassador of Japan graced the occasion as Chief Guest, while, Prof. Carlo Fonseka, Co-Chairperson of the Selection Committee of the Japan Sri Lanka Friendship Cultural Fund, Mr. Naoto Honda, representing the Japanese Solidarity Association of Sri Lanka, Mr. Mohan Samaranayake, Chairman, Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation and a distinguished gathering of invitees including several renowned Sri Lankan cultural artistes were also present on this occasion.
The highlight of the ceremony was the cultural performances by the award winners displaying their versatile talents which merited their selection.
The Bunka Awards presentation ceremony will be telecast over Rupavahini shortly for the benefit of the Sri Lankan public.
26th September 2013
September 25, 2013
Statement – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
(date of issue of the original Japanese edition)
H-061 (issue number)
Statement by the Press Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan,
on the election for the Northern Provincial Council in Sri Lanka
- Japan welcomes that, on September 21, the first election for the Northern Provincial Council in Sri Lanka was conducted in a largely peaceful manner. This is a significant step forward in the national reconciliation process after many years of conflict.
- Japan hopes that Sri Lanka will make steady progress toward national reconciliation, and intends to continue to support the efforts by those concerned for achieving this goal. (END)
* The foregoing is a provisional translation. The date indicated above denotes the date of issue of the original press release in Japanese.
*For inquiries, please contact the Southwest Asia Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Tel. 5501-8000 (Ext 2454).
“JAPANESE EDUCATION SEMINAR 2013” will be held at the “Anthurium”, Galadari Hotel, Colombo 1 on Saturday 21st September 2013, from 10.00 a.m to 4.00 p.m. This is the third successive seminar organized by the Embassy of Japan together with the Japanese Graduates Alumni Association of Sri Lanka (JAGAAS) and the Japan International Cooperation Centre (JICE) in order to assist students interested in obtaining an excelent university education in Japan that will become a launching pad for a bright future career. Admission to this seminar is free of charge.
Representatives of a total of 7 reputed national and private universities in Japan will participate at this seminar. They are;
- Hokkaido University
- Ibaraki University
- International University of Japan
- Nagaoka University of Technology
- Nagoya University
- Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU)
- Yamaguchi University
Senior professors and administrative staff of these universities coordinating international study programs will provide detailed information to visitors about their prospectus, the special features and characteristics of their respective universities. Students and visitors will be provided with guidance on admission procedures, study courses, support systems and general student life in Japan. A special booth will be assigned to provide general information such as administrative procedures on entering Japanese universities. These universities provide high quality undergraduate and post graduate programs in English for international students.
The Embassy of Japan will also provide information about the Monbukagakusho Scholarships awarded by the Government of Japan while members of JAGAAS will also assist visitors in obtaining first-hand information about studying in Japan based upon their own experiences. This seminar is an excellent opportunity for students interested in obtaining an excellent university education in Japan.
Japan warmly welcomes students from Sri Lanka to successfully pursue higher studies in one of the prestigious universities of Japan and also appreciate and enjoy the beautiful country. Admission to the Seminar is free of charge.
Japan's Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs
to visit Sri Lanka
Hon. Minoru Kiuchi
Hon. Mr. Minoru KIUCHI, Japan’s Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs will be arriving in Sri Lanka on Thursday 12th September 2013 to follow-up on the visit of His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Tokyo in March and the visit of Deputy Prime Minister of Japan and Minister of Finance, His Excellency Mr. Taro Aso to Sri Lanka in May this year.
August 30th, 2013
Japan supports a Livelihood Improvement Project for the Resettled Communities
through Japanese NGO
The Government of Japan has extended US$ 283,432 (approximately Rs. 37 million) to the “Reconstruction of Community and Improvement of Livelihood of Returnees in the Fishing Community on Mullaitivu District” project which will be implemented by PARCIC in the Mullaitivu District under the Japan-NGO Cooperation Grant Scheme. PARCIC is a Japanese NGO, actively involved in reconstruction and development (assistance) in the Northern Province since 2004.
This project is for resettled fishery communities to improve their livelihoods. PARCIC has provided 18 common wells in the area in the first half of this year. It helped returnees to quickly recover from the lack of basic living infrastructure. As continuity of that, this project is providing three common halls with livelihood assistance and language education program as well as nursery in Kokuthoduvai, Karunadukeny, Kokillai, Maritimepattu DS, aiming to rebuild the community unity.
Japan is committed, and strongly supports initiatives for global peace and prosperity and hence encourages Sri Lanka’s efforts for national reconciliation as a means of sustaining long-term development in the country. It is in this context that Japan was a key partner in the peace process and provided its unstinted support to reconstruct and rebuild the Northern areas, with highest priority to the welfare of the people.
Commenting on the project Ms. Ito, a project coordinator of PARCIC said “this project is the first year project of a three year program; PARCIC is planning to provide fish market buildings, jetty, and aquaculture facilities in coming second and third years. Throughout the program we are hoping that the fishery communities will gain their strength. Everyone in the communities, who has come back to their places after more than 20 year, is eager to rebuild their life, and this project is supporting those wishes of the communities.”
The Grant Contract was signed between His Excellency, Mr. Nobuhito Hobo, Ambassador of Japan and Ms. Fumi Ito, Project Coordinator, PARCIC, on 30th August 2013 at the Ambassador’s Residence in Colombo.
JAPANESE CULTURAL EXHIBITION - 2013
A Japanese Cultural Exhibition will be held at the Harold Peiris Gallery, Lionel Wendt, Colombo 7 from 31st August to 1st September 2013. The exhibition has been organized by the Embassy of Japan and the Japanese Language Teachers’ Association of Sri Lanka and will feature Ikebana floral arrangements, bonsai plants, origami, as well as demonstrations of the tea ceremony, Ikebana floral art, bonsai planting and origami folding.
The exhibition will be open to the general public on 31st August from 12.00 noon to 6.00 p.m. and on 1st September from 9.00 a.m. to 6.00.p.m. Admission to the exhibition and demonstrations are free of charge. Demonstrations will be held as follows;
Origami ]- 31st Aug & 1st Sep. 1.00 p.m. to 2.00 p.m.
Ikebana - 31st Aug & 1st Sep. 2.00 p.m. to 3.00 p.m.
Bonsai - 31st Aug & 1st Sep 4.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m.
Tea Ceremony -1st Sep. 11.00 a.m. -12.00 noon
The exhibition is designed to display Japan’s culture and lifestyle and thereby to further enhance the friendly relations between the peoples of Japan and Sri Lanka.
Japan’s Princess Tsuguko of Takamado to visit Sri Lanka
Her Imperial Highness Princess Tsuguko of Takamado, the eldest daughter of Japanese Prince Takamado will arrive in Sri Lanka on a four-day visit from August 19th to 23rd in response to an invitation extended to Her Imperial Highness by His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa and First Lady Madam Shiranthi Rajapaksa during the latter’s visit to Japan in March this year.
Her Imperial Highness was born on 8th March 1986 to Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Takamado and celebrated her coming of age in March 2006. After studying at the University of Edinburgh, Her Highness returned to Japan in 2008. In March 2013, Her Highness graduated from the School of International Liberal Studies, Waseda University and is presently attached to the Japan Committee for UNICEF, but attends ceremonies and functions at the Imperial Palace and other official events. Her grandfather, His Imperial Highness Prince Takahito of Mikasa visited Sri Lanka in 1956 and was gifted with a baby elephant by then Prime Minister the late Honourable S.W.R.D. Bandaranayake, which was subsequently donated to the TAMA Zoological Park in Tokyo. H.E. President Rajapaksa donated two more baby elephants to the same zoological park during his official visit to Japan in March this year in the presence of Her Imperial Highness Princess Tsuguko. Thereafter, the Government of Sri Lanka kindly invited Her Highness to visit Sri Lanka.
Her Imperial Highness will visit the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy and the Sri Mahabhodhi at Anuradhapura. Her Imperial Highness will also pay a courtesy call on His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the President’s House in Kandy. Her Highness will also meet with the Diyadana Nilame of the Sri Dalada Maligawa Mr. Nilanga Dela and will have the opportunity to view the Sri Dalada Perehera. Her Imperial Highness will tour some of the UNESCO World Heritage sites and other sites of historical importance in Sri Lanka, the botanical gardens at Peradeniya and engage in a tour of a National Park to view elephants prior to Her Imperial Highness’ departure on 23rd August.
Randooga Music Workshops
and Concerts in Batticaloa and Galle
The Embassy of Japan together with the Japan Foundation will present a series of Randooga workshops and concerts in Batticaloa and Galle bringing together Japanese and Sri Lankan musicians in a joint musical cultural exchange programme. This is part of the Japan Foundation’s “Culture for Harmony and Peace” Project in Sri Lanka, planned and led by Professor Yoshiko Ashiwa of the Center for Peace and Reconciliation, Hitotsubashi University, Japan.
The Randooga Workshop features Japanese master of jazz piano, and founder of the Randooga Method, Masahiko Satoh, and renowned Sri Lankan Sitarist Pradeep Ratnayake in a unique joint musical performance that is also spontaneous and improvised. Kei Wada (percussionist), Taiko Matsumoto and Akiko Uesugi (singers) and others will join the duo in Batticaloa and Galle. (Artists profiles are attached)
The Randooga workshops will introduce the method created by Masahiko Satoh to use improvisation as the way of nonverbal communication to enhance dialogue and understanding with oneself and between people. Randooga can be enjoyed by both individuals and groups of people, from those who have never touched a musical instrument to outstanding musicians. It is based on one of jazz’s most important aspects - improvisation. Improvisation is the practice of acting, singing, or playing musical instruments immersed in the moment and in response to the stimulus of one's immediate environment and inner feelings. This can result in the invention of new thought patterns not only in one but many different directions and dimensions.
The Batticaloa workshop will be held on the 10th and 11th August 2013 at the Matharesa Training Centre and it will culminate in a concert at the Swami Vipulananthar Institute of Aesthetic Studies, Eastern University, Kalladi on 12th August from 6.00 to 8.30 p.m which will feature the workshop participants as well as the well-known musicians.
The concert Randooga workshop in Galle will be held on 15th and 16th August 2013 at the Japan Peace Pagoda, Rumassala, Unawatuna, Galle cukminating in the concert on 17th August from 5.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m.
Both these workshops and concerts are free of charge and open to music lovers.
The Embassy of Japan considers these workshops and concerts in Batticaloa and Galle as part of Japan’s support towards the efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka to promote national reconciliation and harmony and also a true expression of the warm friendly relations between Japan and Sri Lanka.
JAPAN’S MINISTER FOR INTERNAL AFFAIRS AND COMMUNICATIONS
TO VISIT SRI LANKA
His Excellency Mr. Yoshitaka Shindo, Japan’s Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications will be arriving in Sri Lanka on Sunday 28th July 2013 as a follow-up to the visit of His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Tokyo in March and the visit of Deputy Prime Minister of Japan and Parliamentary Senior Vice Minister of Finance, His Excellency Mr. Taro Aso in May this year.
During his visit Mr. Shindo will call on His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa to discuss bilateral relations with a view to further strengthening the long-standing ties between the two countries. He will also pay courtesy calls on his counterpart Honourable Keheliya Rambukwella, Minister of Mass Media and Information and Honourable Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Economic Development.
Japan Funds Project to Ensure Free and Fair Elections
The Government of Japan decided to provide US$ 88,667 (approximately Rs. 11.4 million) in grant aid for “The Project for Mobilization of the Citizenry to Participate in the Electoral Process to Strengthen Democracy,” with a view to conducting voter education in the Northern Province and election monitoring in the three upcoming provincial council elections under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP).
Supporting the efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka to strengthen democracy, this project is aimed at encouraging local people in the North to exercise their first-ever franchise at provincial level since 1988 and to ensure the conduct of free and fair elections for Northern, North Western and Central Provincial Councils.
Under this project, the People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL), an election monitoring organization will organize election-related activities in a neutral manner. Backed by its vast expertise since 1987, PAFFREL will conduct programs to educate voters in the Northern Province on voting and the system of provincial council and deploy election observers in each polling station in the three provinces. Furthermore, it will also engage with the training of these observers working as immediate guardian of people’s political rights. Collaborating with Japan for the seventh time, PAFFREL also conveys to people Japan’s determination to support the consolidation of peace in Sri Lanka.
Under the leadership of Mr. Yasushi Akashi, Representative of the Government of Japan on Peace-Building, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Sri Lanka, Japan has been encouraging the national reconciliation process in Sri Lanka. In March, 2013, His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited Japan and during his meeting with Prime Minister Mr. Shinzo Abe, he expressed his strong commitment to hold an election for the Northern Provincial Council. The Government of Japan appreciates the initiative taken by His Excellency in the issuing of a proclamation to the Election Commissioner on July 5 directing him to conduct the election, in pursuit of realizing the recommendation of the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission. This election would be a milestone for the Government of Sri Lanka in the process of national reconciliation.
Recognizing these elections entirely as domestic processes, Japan hopes that its electoral assistance would reach people at grass-roots level without any prejudice through PAFFREL and ensure inclusive participation of local people. Japan also expects that this project would further enhance the efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka to conduct the elections in a free and fair manner, devoid of election violence, thereby building people’s confidence in freedom of expression and their participation in the democratic political process in the country.
The Grant Contract between His Excellency Mr. Nobuhito Hobo, Ambassador of Japan and Mr. Rohana Hettiarachchie, Executive Director, PAFFREL, was signed on July 19, 2013 at the Ambassador’s residence in Colombo in the presence of Ms. Jezima Ismail, Chairperson of PAFFREL.
Japan Provides further 15 Scholarships to the Public Sector Officers
for Master’s Programs
Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resources Development Scholarship (JDS) funded by the Government of Japan since 2010 has been provided opportunity for 45 aspiring public officials to pursue a Master’s degree from International Christian University, Hiroshima University and International University of Japan. This year a further 15 public officials will depart for Japan to pursue a research in the field of Public Policy and Public Finance, Public Administration, Regional Development and Macro Economics and Development Economics.
H.E. Mr. Nobuhito Hobo, Ambassador of Japan hosted a reception at his residence for the 15 scholars prior to their departure. He remarked that “this scholarship is a special opportunity to gain knowledge and experience in the specialized fields that are highly in demand in Sri Lanka. It is important that the scholars make best use of this opportunity not only for academic area, but also to explore Japan and its culture. Japan hopes that upon completion of the Master’s program, the scholars will effectively contribute to the development of Sri Lanka”.
Japan provides further Rs. 245 million for the continuation of the
Human Resource Development Scholarship
The Government of Japan initiated the Human Resource Development Scholarship in 2010 with the objective of training Sri Lanka officials with high potential to effectively contribute to the development efforts of Sri Lanka. The scholarship provides opportunities for young public sector officials to pursue a two-year Masters Degree in Japan in the fields of Public Policy and Public Finance, Public Administration, Regional Development and Macro Economics and Development Economics at International Christian University, Hiroshima University and International University of Japan. This year, a sum of 192 million Japanese Yen (approximately Rs. 245 million) was provided to cover the expenses for the 4th batch of 15 prospective scholars.
So far, 45 public officials have been awarded this scholarship, while 15 officials from the 1st batch of scholarship recipients have successfully completed their Masters degrees and have returned to Sri Lanka. The recipients for the scholarship are selected from the Ministries of Finance and Planning, Public Administration and Home Affairs, Economic Development and Local Government and Provincial Councils.
In the joint statement issued in March this year, H.E. Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan and H.E. Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka shared the importance of further strengthening academic and people-to-people exchanges, and President Rajapaksa appreciated the scholarships granted by the Japanese Government as a means of strengthening human resource capacity building of Sri Lanka.
Commenting on the scholarship H.E. Mr. Nobuhito Hobo, Ambassador of Japan emphasized that “Japan’s ODA gives high priority towards human resource development in Sri Lanka and has therefore continuously provided technical cooperation through “people” and has awarded various study and training opportunities to Sri Lankan people. Japan hopes that Sri Lanka will make the best of the opportunities provided and utilize the knowledge and experience gained for the betterment of the country”.
The signing of the Exchange of Notes for the Human Resource Development Scholarship scheme took place on 5th June at the Ministry of Finance and Planning between H.E. Mr. Nobuhito Hobo, Ambassador of Japan on behalf of the Government of Japan and Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Planning on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka. In addition, the signing of the Grant Agreements took place between Mr. Harumi Ao, Chief Representative of JICA Sri Lanka Office and Dr. P.B. Jayasundera.
Counter Piracy Operations Fleet
of Japan Maritime Self Defence Force
visited at the Port of Trincomalee.
Two Ships of Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) “SUZUNAMI DD-114”, “KIRISAME DD-104”, which were dispatched by the Government of Japan for Counter Piracy Operations off the Coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden, arrived at the Port of Trincomalee on a goodwill and supply visit from 20th May – 22nd May 2013.
The ships and their crews were ceremonially welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy, in accordance with naval traditions on the ship arrival. This is to be declared as the first JMSDF ship visit to the port of Trincomalee for the history of Japan Maritime Self Defence Force.
This historical ship visit to the port of Trincomalee, came to a reality after the visit of His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka to Japan in March this year.
Number of friendship programmes between JMSDF and SLN has been organized with the friendship and goodwill between the two nations. Captain Junichi Shimo, Commander Escort Division III, made a lecture on the “JMSDF Counter Piracy Operations” at the WasanthaKarannagoda auditorium in Eastern Naval Command. Approx. 400 SLN cadetsand officers had taken part in this event, which is believed to be a worthy exposure for them in the arena ofregional and multilateral cooperation.
During their stay in Sri Lanka, 08 members of Japan Coast Guard led by Commander Koji Nakahara, joined in joint volunteer work with Sri Lanka Coast Guard. The Coast Guard Exchange and goodwill between the two countries has been continued since February 2012.
The visit of these two ships signifying a relationship with evolution between the Defence Forces and Coast Guard Authorities of the two countries, concerning the “Joint Statement” issued in March this year during His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka’s latest official visit to Japan.
Government of Japan confers Dr. S. M. Punchi Banda with
“The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays”
The Government of Japan on April 29th, 2013 conferred Dr. Sabhapathi Mudiyanselage Punchi Banda, Senior Advisor – JICA Sri Lanka Office, with one of its distinguished honors “The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays”, in recognition for his outstanding contributions in enhancing relationship between Japan and Sri Lanka.
Commenting on the award H.E. Mr. Nobuhito Hobo, Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka mentioned that “Dr. Punchi Banda has immensely played an important role in improving the effectiveness of Japan’s social and economic development cooperation to Sri Lanka, which enabled the strengthening of friendship and goodwill between the people of Japan and the people of Sri Lanka. Some of the major contributions of Dr. Punchi Banda are; promotion of Japanese agricultural technology and Japanese language in Sri Lanka and the many initiatives in training of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers working in Sri Lanka.”
Dr. Punchi Banda was also instrumental in forging strong links between the two countries as a Vice President, Japanese Graduate Alumni Association in Sri Lanka (JAGAAS). The 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Sri Lanka were celebrated last year, where JAGAAS was actively involved in organizing several commemorative events with the good effort of Dr. Punchi Banda.
“The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays”, one of the decorations of Japan, is awarded by the Emperor of Japan to foreign nationals who have made notable contributions to enhance bilateral relations with Japan. The ceremony to confer the official decoration on Dr. Punchi Banda was held on 3rd June, 2013 at the Ambassador’s residence.
Japan's Deputy Prime Minister and Senior Vice Minister
of Finance to visit Sri Lanka
Deputy Prime Minister of Japan, His Excellency Mr.Taro Aso and Parliamentary Senior Vice Minister of Finance, Honourable Ms. Yuko Obuchi will visit Sri Lanka from 1st to 2nd May 2013, as a follow-up to the visit of His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Tokyo in March this year. Mr.Aso is also the Finance Minister of the Government of Japan.
During their visit Mr.Aso and Ms.Obuchi will call on His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa to discuss bilateral relations with a view to further strengthening the long-standing ties between the two countries and will also visit the Port of Colombo and Colombo Dockyard. The Government of Japan provided more than 80 billion Yen (approx. 800 million USD) for upgrading and expansion of the Colombo Port. Colombo Dockyard this year marks its 20th anniversary of partnership with Onomichi Dockyard Co. Ltd. of Japan.
JAPANESE GOVERNMENT SCHOLARSHIP 2014
(MONBUKAGAKUSHO – MEXT)
The Government of Japan will award scholarships to Sri Lankan students under the Monbukagakusho (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology:MEXT) Scholarship scheme 2014, in the categories of Postgraduate Research, Undergraduate and College of Technology. The closing date for applications to the Ministry of Higher Education is on 3rdMay 2013. Selection of candidates will be done through an examination conducted jointly by the Japanese Embassy and the Ministry of Higher Education. Prospective candidates are kindly requested to forward their applications to the Ministry of Higher Education, No. 18, Ward Place, Colombo 07, according to the specimen application format published by the Ministry. Application forms downloaded directly from the website of the Government of Japan will not be accepted for the preliminary processing. Undergraduate and College of Technology applicants can apply for ONE SCHEME ONLY (Either Undergraduate or College of Technology).
- Further information regarding this scholarship could be obtained on
- For Past Papers of the qualifying examination
Sri Lanka to host the 3rd South Asian Federation of Japanese Universities Alumni Association (SAFJUAA)
Japanese Language Speech Contest
The 3rd South Asian Federation of Japanese Universities Alumni Association Japanese Language Speech Contest organized by the Japanese Graduates Alumni Association of Sri Lanka (JAGAAS) together with the Japanese Language Teacher’s Association in Sri Lanka (JLTAS) and the Embassy of Japan in Sri Lanka and sponsored by the Japan Foundation, New Delhi Office, India will be held on Saturday 23rd March 2013 at the Auditorium of the Sasakawa Memorial Hall, Colombo 03 commencing 9.00 a.m..
Mr. Hideki Ishizuka, Chargé d’affaires of the Embassy of Japan in Sri Lanka will grace the occasion as Chief Guest together with the participation of Mr. Katsuma Doi, Director General, The Japan Foundation, New Delhi Office, India, Prof. Yasotoshi Hanada, Department of Linguistics, Tokyo International University, Japan and Mr. Harumi Ao, Chief Representative, JICA, Sri Lanka office, Colombo.
A total of ten contestants from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka who have excelled in the Japanese language speech contests held in their respective countries this year will participate under the senior and junior categories for which they will deliver speeches in Japanese language before an independent panel of judges and other guests. Winners will be awarded certificates by the South Asian Federation of Japanese Universities Alumni Association. This would be followed by the 5th Reunion of SAFJUAA from 2.00 to 4.15 p.m. and a Symposium from 4.30 p.m. onwards at the same venue organized by the South Asian Federation of Japanese Universities Alumni Association.
Japan Provides Rs. 3.7 billion Grant Aid for Facilitating Sri Lanka’s
Social and Economic Development
The Government of Japan provided grant assistance amounting to Japanese Yen 2,678 million (approximately Rs. 3.7 billion) towards the following four projects for meeting the urgent needs in sectors such as; fisheries, roads and health. This assistance was conveyed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Summit Meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, during his visit to Japan on 12-15 March as a part of his intention to continue cooperation for Sri Lanka’s sustainable development.
- Project for Construction of a Dredger:Japanese Yen 988 million will be provided for the construction of a Grab Hopper dredger to meet the frequent demand for maintaining the operational depth of fishery harboursaround the country in order to ensure uninterrupted access for fishing activities. The currently used Grab Hopper dredger was gifted by Japan in 1989 and needs to be replaced due to frequent repairs.
(2) Project for Development of Intelligent Transport System for Expressways in Sri Lanka:Japanese Yen 940 million was provided for purchase and installation of Variable Message Sign (VMS) systems on expressways for efficient traffic management aimed at improving traffic flow and minimizingroad hazards.
(3) Non-Project Grant Aid for Provision of Japanese SME's Products (2012):Japanese Yen 200 million was provided under this scheme for procuring machinery/apparatus,as well as electric/electronic equipment that are manufactured by Japanese small and medium enterprisesfor use in the health sector of Sri Lanka.
(4) Non-Project Grant Aid for Provision of Japanese Medical Equipment (2012):Japanese Yen 550 million will be provided under this scheme for procuring a range of medical equipment manufactured in Japan for improving Sri Lanka’s curative health care services and providing the people with access to modern health care services in the country.The People and the Government of Japan sincerely hope that these projects will immensely benefit the people, and thereby facilitate Sri Lanka’s socio-economic development. The signing of the Exchange of Notes took place today between H.E. Mr. Nobuhito Hobo, Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka and Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Planning at the Ministry of Finance and Planning. The signing of the Grant Agreement took place between Mr. Harumi Ao, Chief Representative of JICA, Sri Lanka office and Dr. P.B. Jayasundera.
Japan extended Rs. 25.4 million for
two livelihood development projects
in the Anuradhapura and Matara districts
The Government of Japan has extended a sum of US$ 203,067 (approximately Rs. 25.4 million) grant aid for two projects to improve livelihoods of the communities in the Anuradhapura, and Matara districts under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP).
The Project for Economic Empowerment of Women through Increased Production of Dried Fish and Enhancing the Marketing Network in Matara District” which will be implemented by Soba Kantha Environment Management and Community Development Foundation. Approximately Rs.11.3 million is allocated to construction of a dried fish processing & marketing complex along with 30 ovens, processing equipment and training to the women’s communities of 4 villages in Dondra Divisional Secretary Division in order to assist in improving livelihoods of 200 families through increasing the production of dried fish. This is the third dried fish project implemented by Soba Kantha, following the successful implementation of similar projects in 2010 and 2011.
Ms. Nilmini Kanthi Mudalige, Chairperson of Soba Kantha said that “ this project is initiated to improve the living standards of women community. 7-8 women can be benefitted from each oven and one oven can produce nearly 250kg of dried fish per month. As the products will be introduced to the market as a value added item, each member can earn more than Rs. 20,000 per month as a net profit”.
The second project is “the Project for Rehabilitation of a Tank in the Conflict Affected Area in Anuradhapura”. Community Resource Management Foundation will implement it with 14.1 million rupees for rehabilitation of a tank, sluice, spill, bathing area and access road in Gannurannepothana Village in Anuradhapura District. Mr. Awusadahamige Wijesundara, President of Community Resource Management Foundation stated that “the tank is more than 200 years old and previously provided water for paddy cultivation in both Yala & Maha seasons. But now famers can do cultivation only 50 acres due to low capacity of the tank. After rehabilitation of the tank, it is expected to expand paddy cultivation another 150 acres. It will help to enhance the income of the farmer community in the rural village”.
Japan provides its assistance to Sri Lanka on the concept of “Inclusive Economic Growth” and has supported the programs such as reconstruction in the North and East, agriculture and fisheries development, and rural development. In this context, the Government of Japan has decided to assist those projects, which are expected to promote Sri Lanka’s social and economic development as well as to enhance peace and reconciliation at the grassroots level.
The Grant Contracts among His Excellency Mr. Nobuhito Hobo, Ambassador of Japan, Mrs. N. K. Mudalige, Chairperson of Soba Kantha Environment Management and Community Development Foundation and Mr. A. Wijesundara, President of Community Resource Management Foundation were signed on March 20, 2013 at the Ambassador’s Residence in Colombo.
Japan extended Rs. 8.2 million to NAQDA for a Fishery Project in Mannar
The Government of Japan has provided US$ 65,735 (approximately Rs. 8.2 million) grant aid for the food security and income generation project in Mannar District under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP).
“The Project for Promoting Inland Aquaculture in Mannar” will help to construct a Hatchery including ten mud ponds, sediment tanks, canals for water supply & drainage, a service building, necessary equipment and provide training in Aquaculture and Inland Fishery. The project will be implemented by National Aquaculture Development Authority of Sri Lanka (NAQDA) and would contribute to enhance the food security and income generation of the recently resettled communities in Sirikkulama village in Mannar District.
The target of constructing mini hatchery is to produce 2 million fingerlings per year which will be stocked in a Giant Tank and other reservoirs in Mannar District. While around 108 fishery society members would benefit directly from the project, nearly 70,000 fishermen in Mannar District would benefit indirectly.
The Grant Contract between His Excellency Mr. Nobuhito Hobo, Ambassador of Japan and Mr. Nimal Chandrarathne, Director General of National Aquaculture Development Authority of Sri Lanka (NAQDA) was signed on March 7, 2013 at the Ambassador’s Residence in Colombo in the presence of Professor Rajiva Wijesinha, Advisor to H.E. the President on Reconciliation.
Japan SupportsRehabilitation of Community Infrastructure and Facilities
in Conflict Affected Areas in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka
The Government of Japan is extending financial contribution amounting to 345 million Japanese Yen (approximately US$ 4 million) through the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)for the “Project for Rehabilitation of Community Infrastructure and Facilities in the Conflict Affected Areas in Northern Province”. The signing of the Exchange of Notes between H.E. Mr. Nobuhito Hobo, Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka andMr. Yoshinobu Fukasawa, Senior Human Settlements Officer, UN-Habitat Regional Office for Asia and Pacific took place at the Ambassador’s Residence on March 6th 2013 in the presence of Mr. Janaka Sugathadasa, Secretary, Ministry of Resettlement and Mr. S.B. Divaratne, Secretary, Presidential Task Force for Resettlement, Development and Security in the Northern Province.
The main components of the project include:(1)Rehabilitation and reconstruction of damaged or destroyed small community infrastructure including internal access roads, community based water supply facilities, multipurpose community centres, and construction of rainwater harvesting facilities; (2)Improving access to pre-education; (3)Empowering women in leadership roles and decision making; (4)Enhancing capacities within communities and Government partners for improved service delivery, and (5)Improving the environment and promoting disaster and climate resilience among communities. This initiative will benefit approximately 98,120 returnees in the most affected villages in Mullaitivu and Killinochchi districts in the Northern Province.The project will be implemented by UN-Habitat in partnership with community based organizations during the next two years.
Commenting on the project,Ambassador of Japan H.E. Mr.Hobo stated“UN-Habitat’s “People’s Process” model which mobilises target communitiesand places them at the centre of development is similar tothe “Human Security” concept which is promoted by theGovernment of Japan. This approach will no doubt create a suitable environment for restoring normalcy in the lives of the people, and also contribute towards rebuilding the Northern areas.”
The Government of Japan will continue its proactive support for the recovery in the conflict affected areas, and towards the overall development initiatives ofthe countryin collaboration with the Government of Sri Lanka as well as the international community and NGOs.
Rakugo: Traditional Japanese Comedy in English
Following the successful introduction of Rakugo (Japanese traditional comedy in English) for the first time in Sri Lanka by a Japanese master rakugo-ka in 2011, yet another performance in English by Katsura Sunshine the only non-Japanese professional comedian will be held on Saturday 9th March at the Bandaranaike Center for International Studies (BCIS) and on Sunday 10th March 2013 at the Sasakawa Memorial Hall, Colombo 3 from 2.30 to 4.00 p.m each day. These performances have been jointly organized by the Embassy of Japan, the Bandaranaike Center for International Studies (BCIS), the Japanese Solidarity Association and the Japan Foundation.
Rakugo is a traditional Japanese comic storytelling which has a history of almost 400 years and remains immensely popular even today. Rakugo features a lone storyteller dressed in a simple kimono, kneeling on a cushion and relating hilarious anecdotes and stories firmly rooted in Japanese everyday life, using only a Japanese fan and hand towel for props.
Katsura Sunshine, the performer, was born and raised in Toronto, Canada and began his career in entertainment as a playwright and composer of musical theatre and was tutored in Rakugo under great Rakugo Master Katsura Bunshi and held his debut performance as a professional storyteller in Singapore after which he has also performed on many occasions in Toronto as well as throughout Japan.
Admission to these shows will be free of charge to the general public on a first come first served basis.
Japan supports a Livelihood Improvement Project for the Resettled Communities through Japanese NGO
The Government of Japan has extended US$636,874 (approximately Rs. 80 million)to the “Livelihood Development Project in Resettlement Areas in Trincomalee: Phase III” which will be implemented by Peace Winds Japan (PWJ) in the Tricomalee District under the Japan-NGO Cooperation Grant Scheme. PWJ is a Japanese NGO, actively involved in reconstruction and development (assistance) in the Northern and Eastern Provinces since 2009.
This project is the third of three phases of the programme for resettled communities to improve livelihoods in the areas of agriculture and dairy farming. During the first two years of the programme, fourteen minor tanks have been rehabilitated and the Farmers’ Organizations and Livestock Welfare Societies have been provided withrelevant trainings and equipment. The entire programme is expected to benefit more than 2,000 families in the Trincomalee District.
Japan is committed, and strongly supports initiatives for global peace and prosperity and hence encouragesSri Lanka’s efforts for national reconciliation as a means of sustaining long-term development in the country. It is in this context that Japan was a key partner in the peace process and provided its unstinted support to reconstruct and rebuild the Northern and Eastern areas, with highest priority to the welfare of the people.
Commenting on the project Ms. Taniguchi said “We are committed to strengthening the organizational capacity of Farmers’ Organizations and Livestock Welfare Societies through continuous monitoring, so that they can assist individual members in the long term. In this phase, we will renovate eight more minor tanks with farmers, and continue working with dairy farmers at the community level. We are hoping to establish a sustainable model to diversify and stabilize their income sources so that other communities can follow. The resettled communities are making great efforts to improve their livelihoods and we want to support their potential.”
TheGrant Contract was signed between His Excellency, Mr. Nobuhito Hobo, Ambassador of Japan and Ms. Kana Taniguchi, Country Representative, Peace Winds Japan, on 20thFebruary 2013 at the Ambassador’s Residence in Colombo.
Japan extended Rs. 8.7 million for infrastructure and agricultural development in Kegalle District
The Government of Japan has provided US$ 72,498 (over Rs. 8.7 million) grant aid for a project to improve infrastructure and livelihoods of the remote villages in Kegalle District under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project (GGP).
The project for Improving Livelihood through Support for Infrastructure and Agriculture in Kegalle, which would be implemented by Community Development Center (CDC), aims at improving infrastructure, agricultural activities and livelihood of the people in the area. Through the project, Samagama, Apalawa & Attapitiya roads in Aranayaka Divisional Secretariat division will be renovated. Furthermore, community halls will also be constructed in Apalawa and Moragammana villages. The project includes livelihood improvement activities such as provision of agricultural tools, plants and seeds of yams and yam cultivation training programs and the establishment of a yam farm in Aranayake Divisional Secretariat area.
Ms. Damayanthi Godamulla, Executive Director of Community Development Center (CDC) said “The project will benefit more than 2,000 low income families living with less infrastructure facilities. The project will also encourage and educate the targeted community to grow yams in their home gardens. Yam cultivation training and establishment of a yam farm will facilitate a path for better livelihood and generate new employment opportunities for the communities in Aranayake Divisional Secretariat area. CDC would like to express our sincere gratitude to the Japanese Government and People.”
The Government of Japan has extended assistance for development in Sri Lanka through projects such as infrastructure development, livelihood improvement and agricultural development. Japan hopes that these assistances would holistically contribute to sustainable peace and development in Sri Lanka and promote the livelihood of the people.
The Grant Contract between His Excellency Mr. Nobuhito Hobo, Ambassador of Japan and Ms. Damayanthi Godamulla, the Executive Director of CDC was signed on February 15, 2013 at the Ambassador’s Residence in Colombo.
Japan provides new three story building complex to Jaffna Teaching Hospital
The Jaffna Teaching Hospital was opened by H.E. Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Hon. MaithripalaSirisena, Minister of Health, Hon. Douglas Devananda, Minister of Traditional Industries & Small Enterprise Development and H.E. Mr. Nobuhito Hobo, Ambassador of Japan, on 13 February. The Government of Japan provided grant funds through JICA amounting to 2,298 million Yen (Rs. 2,900 million) towards the “Project for Improvement of the Central Functions of the Jaffna Teaching Hospital” for the construction of a new three story building complex equipped with an Operating Theater Complex, Intensive Care Units, Central Laboratory Complex, Central Facilities for Diagnostic Imaging and provision of medical equipment for the smooth functioning of the hospital. Highlighting the significance of this event Ambassador Hobo said: “Japan is extremely happy that the three story building complex which was a gift from the people of Japan to the people of Sri Lankawill enable the people of the Northern Province to have access to quality health care services and ensure their well-being.”
Japan extended a US$ 860,500 grant for demining in the North
The Government of Japan extended an additional US$ 860,500 (approximately Rs. 107million) grant aid for humanitarian demining in the North of Sri Lanka through the HALO Trust to expedite the efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka to achieve a mine-free Sri Lanka.
As a nation which commits itself and also contributes to global peace and prosperity, Japan focuses its assistance in Sri Lanka on consolidation of peace and reconstruction as well as medium and long-term vision for development. Japan has been a major donor supporting mine clearance in Sri Lanka to accelerate the return and resettlement of internal displaced persons (IDPs) and to facilitate recommencement of agriculture and other livelihood activities of returnees. The Government of Japan has provided an accumulated amount of US$ 24 million (approximately Rs. 3,025 million) since 2003 for demining activities in the Northern and the Eastern Provinces under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP). Japan hopes that these assistances would directly benefit people at the grass-roots level, ensuring human security of the people.
Mr. Bartholomew Digby, Programme Manager, The HALO Trust, says “'The HALO Trust has been conducting mineclearance in northern Sri Lanka with the support of the Government since 2002 throughout the Districts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Trincomalee and Mullaitivu and currently employs over 1000 local men and women. 2013 marks ten years of support for The HALO Trust by the Government of Japan through the Japanese Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project (GGP). Over this time Japanese funded Mineclearance teams have cleared over 660 hectares of land contaminated with landmines and explosive remnants of war and in doing so have safely removed and destroyed over 23,000 landmines and 1,400 items of unexploded ordnance. The clearance of this land has enabled the resettlement and the resumption of livelihoods for tens of thousands of residents including those displaced in the last years of the war. In addition the removal of the explosive remnants of war has allowed for the development and renovation of infrastructure; from roads to reservoirs to schools, which will benefit Sri Lankans for generations to come. The HALO Trust would like to thank the Government of Japan for their continued support in the clearance of landmines and explosive remnants of war, enabling Sri Lankans to return to their land without threat of injury.”
In addition to demining assistances, the Government of Japan has also extended assistance in various areas such as hospital, power, irrigation, resettlement of IDP, reintegration of ex-combatants and family tracing & reunification for the further recovery and rehabilitation in the Northern Province. Japan hopes that these assistances would holistically contribute to sustainable peace and development in Sri Lanka and promote the livelihood of the people.
The Grant Contract between His Excellency Mr. Nobuhito Hobo, Ambassador of Japan and Mr. Bartholomew Digby, Programme Manager, The HALO Trust, was signed on February 8, 2013 at the Ambassador’s residence in Colombo.
SURROUNDING THE SITUATION OF THE SENKAKU ISLANDS
The Embassy of Japan in Sri Lanka wishes to release to the media the following Position Paper issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan on 7th February 2013 concerning Japan-China Relations surrounding the situation of the Senkaku Islands.
1. China’s weapons-guiding radar lock-on was an extremely provocative act that risks causing an unforeseen incident
- On January 30, in the East China Sea, a weapons-guiding radar was directed from a Chinese Navy vessel to an escort vessel of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force.
- Such a provocative act risks causing an unforeseen incident, and is extremely regrettable. Japan has lodged a protest to China and strongly urges China to prevent such incidents recurring.
- Japan is deeply concerned about China’s acts, which risk causing further escalation of the situation.
2. Unilateral provocations by China still continue. Japan looks to China for a positive approach to the current situation.
- China continues to take provocative actions, attempting to change the existing order through coercion and intimidation. In December 2008, Chinese Government vessels intruded into Japan’s territorial waters surrounding the Senkaku Islands for the first time, which surprised and raised concern among the Japanese public. These actions contributed to public support for a plan to purchase the Senkaku Islands by the former Tokyo Governor, Shintaro Ishihara. In an effort to avoid any negative impact on the bilateral relations by such a move, the Government of Japan purchased three of the Senkaku Islands in September last year. In this sense, the current escalation dates back to the Chinese action in December 2008. Particularly after the Government of Japan purchased the three Islands, Chinese Government vessels have made repeated intrusions into Japan’s territorial waters. The situation in the waters surrounding the islands became even more tense on February 4, 2013, when China’s intrusion into Japan’s territorial waters lasted more than 14 hours, the longest period yet.
- In addition, on December 13, 2012, China committed a further provocative act when a Chinese State Oceanic Administration aircraft intruded into Japan’s airspace by flying over the Senkaku Islands. Japan took the countermeasure of scrambling jets from Air Self-Defense Force in accordance with domestic laws, which is a standard operational procedure widely recognized in the international community when countering an airspace incursion by a foreign aircraft.
- Japan is deeply concerned that the environment for continued communications between diplomatic authorities in the two countries could be harmed, despite recent high-level political engagements during which China’s leader referred to the importance of nurturing a positive environment for Japan-China relations. Japan strongly hopes that China will demonstrate its diplomatic approach of “peacefully dealing with issues” through its own actions.
3. Japan, a peace-loving country, contributes to peace and prosperity in he region
- It is extremely regrettable that China resorts to unilateral provocations while there are signs of dialogue between Japan and China. Japan strongly urges China to return to the principle of the mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interest, and exercise self-restraint to avoid escalating the situation.
- Japan’s basic position that the Senkaku Islands belong to Japan is unshakable. At the same time, Japan, as a responsible stakeholder of the region, will deal with the current situation in a calm manner from a broad perspective. Japan is ready to maintain close communications with China in an effort to ease tensions.
- Based on the national policies that Japan has consistently maintained after World War II, Japan, as a peace-loving nation, will continue to contribute to peace and prosperity in Asia.
(Reference) Facts about China’s provocative actions
Recently, Chinese provocative actions in the waters near the Senkaku Islands have become increasingly intense. China’s intention to topple the status quo concerning Japan’s valid control by coercion is clear. During the period between September 11, 2012 and February 6, 2013, Chinese government vessels navigated the Japanese contiguous waters off the coast of the Senkaku Islands nearly daily, except some days due to poor weather as a result of typhoons. They have intruded Japanese territorial waters as many as 25 times using a total of 83 vessels. The vessels sometimes stay in the Japanese territorial waters for several hours.
Japan Provides Rs.90Million to a Livelihood Project for Returnees
In the Northern and Eastern Parts of Sri Lanka
The Government of Japan has extended US$723,568 (approximately Rs. 90 million)to the “Project on Livelihood Assistance for Returnees in the North and East of Sri Lanka” to be implemented by JEN, a Japanese NGO, in order to improve the livelihood of the resettled communities in the North and East under the Japan-NGO cooperation Grant scheme funded by the Government of Japan.
The project titled “Project on Livelihood Assistance for Returnees in the North and East of Sri Lanka” will support to rehabilitate and uplift livelihood of the people through constructing agro-wells and providing necessary tools such as water pumps, and seeds and plants as well as workshops. It is envisaged that theproject would facilitate stable water supply, ensure livelihood and food security, and improve income of nearly 350families directly and indirectly.
As a nation which commits itself and also contributes to global peace and prosperity, Japan focuses its assistance in Sri Lanka on consolidation of peace and reconstruction as well as medium and long-term vision for development. In this context, Japan has given high priority to support the reconstruction of the Northern and the Eastern provinces and to improving the living conditions of the people. Japan also extended its fullest support towards the peace process since it firmly believes that peace and reconciliation are pre-requisites for sustainable development and prosperity of Sri Lanka.
Ms. Watanabe, Administration and Finance Officer of Colombo Office of JEN, said: “JEN is an international NGO established in 1994 to provide victims of conflicts and natural disasters with emergency assistance and support for self-reliance across the globe.In Sri Lanka, JEN started its operations in the aftermath of the Tsunami in 2004. Soon after completing the operation, JEN has focused on assisting the people affected by the conflict in the East since 2007 and in the North since 2009.
From 1st February 2013, JEN starts a new 1-year project “Project on Livelihood Assistance for Returnees in the North and East of Sri Lanka”.
The Grant Contract was signed between His Excellency, Mr. Nobuhito Hobo, Ambassador of Japan and Ms. Chisa Watanabe, Administration and Finance Officer of JEN, on 1stFebruary 2013 at the Ambassador’s Residence in Colombo.
The Association of Spouses of the Japanese Embassy Staffs(ASJES) donated a sum of Rs.250,750 to two NGOs, namely ‘Surangani Voluntary Service(SVS) and ‘Only One World ‘ (OOW). The presentation ceremony of the donation was held at the Japanese Ambassador’s official residence on Thursday, 24th January, 2013. Funds for this donation were raised through the International Bazaar held with the participation of 19 countries and 9 organizations at the Hilton Colombo Residence on 2nd December, 2012. The Association has been supporting activities of many NGOs in Sri Lanka over the past 30 years, and this year it was decided to make a donation to ‘Only One World’ for the first time.
SVS was founded in 1992 and supports mainly pre-school education in Sri Lanka. The donation from ASJES will be utilized for improving teaching materials and for supporting livelihood at ‘Little Tree’, a center for handicapped children in Buttala in the Monaragala District.
OOW was founded in 1991 by the former Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Japan Mr. Arthur Basnayake and his wife Mrs. DaminiBasnayake. OOW grants scholarships to excellent students who could not attend schools owing to their poverty, and donates medical equipment to hospitals. The donation from ASJES will be utilized for donation of books to the Pinnawela Central Collage in Rambukkana, and for awarding a 4 year scholarship to one university student who graduated from the said school.
Japan Provides Urgent Relief items to Flood Victims
The Government of Japan has decided to donate emergency assistance worth 23 million Japanese Yen (approximately Rs. 32 million) to the Government of Sri Lanka for immediate distribution among people affected by the recent floods and landslides.
The emergency assistance includes tents, plastic sheets and sleeping pads for those affected by the recent floods and landslides. The assistance is being provided in line with the needs of those affected and as requested by the Government of Sri Lanka. The relief items will be distributed through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The People and the Government of Japan sincerely hope that this aid would contribute to improving the humanitarian situation in the affected areas, and that this disaster will be under control as early as possible.
No.20, Srimath R.G. Senanayake Mawatha, Colombo7, Sri Lanka