By:Staff WriterColombo (LNW): Sri Lanka is heading close to the brink of regaining the confidence of Japan following the official visit of Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremasighe using his intelligence, knowledge and vast experience in international politics following his late uncle President JR Jayawrdena ‘s foot steps.
New Sri Lanka Leader slowly but surely woos his Japanese counterparts, billionaire investors and business magnets to return to resurrect Sri Lanka rescuing the island nation from bankruptcy.
President Wickremasinghe is repeating a similar feat of President JRJ in a different sylely of his own in Japan impressing the Japanese leaders and people people so deeply that they continue to hold the abiding memory of his uncle’s speech at the San Francisco Peace Conference in September 1951 closely with profound gratefulness.
The President expressed his regret to the Japanese Government for the suspension of the Colombo Light Rail Transit (LRT) project, which was being implemented with Japanese support while extending support to Japan’s vision for a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” and called for an open-ended dialogue among Asian nations to foster peace and cooperation in the region..
During the official meeting in Tokyo yesterday morning (25) between President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, the President emphasized the need for future legislation in the Parliament to ensure that bilateral large-scale projects cannot be halted or canceled without the agreement of both parties.
The Prime Minister of Japan warmly received President Ranil Wickremesinghe, and bilateral talks commenced after a friendly conversation between the two leaders.
In another meeting held on the same day (25) in Tokyo, President Wickremesinghe met with Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki to discuss Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring and the International Monetary Fund’s program.
Subsequently, he met with Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, focusing on strengthening long-term bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Japan, including increased cooperation in economic and cultural fields.
Additionally, President Ranil Wickremesinghe and former Prime Minister of Japan Mr. Yasuo Fukuda participated in a breakfast meeting organized by the Japan-Sri Lanka Association in Tokyo on the same day (25).
During the meeting, President Ranil Wickremesinghe briefed the former Prime Minister of Japan on the ongoing economic recovery program in Sri Lanka. The President highlighted the favorable investment climate in Sri Lanka and extended an invitation to Japanese investors to return and invest in the country.
Furthermore, a meeting was held between the former Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Taro Aso, and President Ranil Wickremesinghe, focusing on potential steps to strengthen the existing close and friendly relationship with Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka’s President reiterated that he intends to apply for membership in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade bloc, as his South Asian country strives to rebuild its crisis-hit economy.
Wickremesinghe told Nikkei’s Future of Asia forum on Thursday that Sri Lanka would look to join RCEP “with the aim of achieving a higher level of economic liberalization.
The Sri Lankan leader, who took office last year after his predecessor Gotabaya Rajapaksa was ousted in a wave of protests, painted a picture of smaller countries caught between two superpowers.