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* Japanese Prime Minister to accompany a large business delegation on his visit to Sri Lanka on Sunday
Fri, Sep 5, 2014, 09:11 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Sept 05, Colombo: Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Bangladesh and Sri Lanka starting this weekend for talks with the leaders of the two countries, the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Japan said in a statement.

Prime Minister Abe will arrive in Sri Lanka on Sunday, September 7 after visiting Dhaka and meeting his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina.

Abe will be the first Japanese leader to visit Sri Lanka in 24 years. His visit is in response to an invitation extended by the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa during latter's official visit to Japan in March 2013.

The Japanese PM and his delegation will be received at the Bandaranaike International Airport by Sri Lankan President and a special government delegation. Later he will participate in a ceremony to be held at the airport to inaugurate construction work on a new airport terminal.

The visiting Prime Minister will be accorded an official welcome ceremony with state honors at the Presidential Secretariat.

Following the welcoming ceremony, the two leaders will hold bilateral talks to further strengthen and cement friendly relations between the two countries.

The Japanese Prime Minister is also scheduled to visit the Sri Lankan Parliament on an observation tour. He will be welcomed at the Parliamentary Complex at a special ceremony organized by Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa and Parliamentary delegates.

The Sri Lanka -Japan business community will also hold a meeting at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel with the participation of the Japanese PM to widen Japan-Sri Lanka investment opportunities.

The Government of Sri Lanka in a statement said it is confident that Abe's visit will enable both countries to further consolidate and expand the existing robust relations, particularly in trade and economic cooperation.

Prime Minister Abe will be accompanied by a high level delegation, which also includes business leaders from several Japanese companies, notably small and medium sized enterprises, ranging from infrastructure to food industries, the External Affairs Ministry said.

Japan has been a key partner in Sri Lanka’s socio-economic development and the forthcoming official visit of Prime Minister Abe will be an important milestone in further enhancing bilateral relations.

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