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* Japanese Vice-Minister, Sri Lankan President discuss Colombo city development
Wed, Aug 20, 2014, 07:24 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Aug 20, Colombo: Japan's Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Manabu Sakai called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees Tuesday (August 19).

President Rajapaksa conveyed Sri Lanka's appreciation to Japan for its continued support at international forums, pointing out that Japan has always assisted Sri Lanka at times of need. He also briefed the Japanese Minister on Sri Lanka's post-war development.

"After the war, we concentrated on reconciliation and development," the President said.

During the meeting, Mr. Sakai informed the President that he would be handing over the Colombo City Transport Master Plan to officials during his visit.

Sri Lanka's Ministry of Transport in cooperation with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has developed an urban transport master plan for the Colombo metropolitan region to identify methods to ease the traffic congestion transport difficulties faced by the public in Colombo city and suburbs.

"Through these initiatives, we will be able to strengthen our friendship further," Sakai said.

President Rajapaksa also spoke about the other collaborations between the two countries, stating that in addition to city transport development, Sri Lanka is glad to be working in partnership with Japan in the fields of digital communication and disaster management.

Before the conclusion of the meeting, President Rajapaksa also told Vice-Minister Sakai that Sri Lanka is waiting for Japanese Prime Minister's visit.

It has been reported that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering visiting Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in early September.

The Ambassador of Japan in Sri Lanka Nobuhito Hobo and several other Japanese officials accompanied the Vice-Minister.

Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris, Minister of Mass Media and Information Keheliya Rambukwella, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga and Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs Mrs. Kshenuka Seneviratne were also present at the meeting.

(Photos by Sudath Silva)

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