Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs to visit Sri Lanka, Pakistan this week

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Aug 28, 2018 (LBO) – State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Kazuyuki Nakane will visit Sri Lanka and Pakistan this week, few days after Japanese Defense Minister visited Sri Lanka.

The recent visit by Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera to India and Sri Lanka showed the increasing focus on these countries on the part of Tokyo as a part of its free and open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) strategy.

Embassy of Japan in Sri Lanka said State Minister Nakane to arrive Sri Lanka today in order to participate in the commissioning ceremony of the patrol vessels donated from Japan to be held on 29th at the Colombo Port.

At the ceremony, two patrol vessels will be handed over to Sri Lanka Coast Guard, which will be utilized to improve maritime safety and strengthen control of the maritime borders of Sri Lanka.

In addition, during his stay, Nakane will call on Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and hold meetings with other Sri Lankan government leaders to further promote bilateral relations between the two countries.

The Embassy of Japan expects that this visit would help further consolidate the “Comprehensive Partnership” between Japan and Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, the Japanese State Minister Nakane will arrive in Islamabad on a two-day official visit to Pakistan on the 30th August.

During his stay, Nakane will meet the new leadership of Pakistan including the Prime Minister, Imran Khan. Matters of mutual interest, as well as bilateral relations, are on the top of his agenda of talks with the Pakistani leaders.

An agreement for economic development assistance to Pakistan by the Government of Japan would also be signed during his visit.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has forced all countries, including Japan, to take notice in the Indo-Pacific region. There are indications that Japan is planning to work with countries like India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan to balance this.

Meanwhile, A Japanese helicopter carrier has already been deployed for a two-month mission in the Indo-Pacific region.

The mission will last through October 30, with the ships making stops in India, Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and the Philippines.

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