Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Honda Taro visited Bangladesh from 21-25 July to strengthen Bangladesh-Japan bilateral relations.
During the visit, he along with Jica President Tanaka Akihiko, paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen.
They also visited the Jica-funded Matarbari Power Plant project, Cox's Bazar Rohingya camps and attended a memorial ceremony in honour of the Holey Artisan victims involved in the MRT project.
On Friday (22 July), Honda Taro visited the Matarbari development project during his business trip to Bangladesh, reads a Japan Embassy press release.
In the Matarbari area, a deep-water port is being developed by Japanese ODA, and an ultra-supercritical pressure coal-fired power plant is also being constructed.
This port is the country's only deep-water port with a water depth of -16m, which is designed for accommodating the use of large container carriers with a draft of -14.5m.
Chattogram port, the biggest port in the country is experiencing a rapid increase in containerised cargo and facing over-capacity, therefore the Matarbari deep sea port plans to construct a container terminal and a multi-purpose terminal to handle LNG and other cargoes in the future.
Honda was accompanied by Jica President Dr Tanaka Akihiko and Ambassador Ito Naoki. Honda emphasised that the significance and importance of Matarbari development project and Japan will continue its support to Bangladesh.
On 23 July, Taro also had an official visit to the Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar, where over 920,000 displaced persons from Rakhine State, Myanmar reside.
He was accompanied by Ambassador Naoki, Dr Tanaka Akihiko, and Hayakawa Yuho, chief representative of Jica Bangladesh joined the one-day mission.
The delegations visited the jute bag factory of UNHCR, an E-voucher outlet of WFP, a water distribution point of IOM, and the health post of Japan Red Cross.
Since the large influx in August 2017, Japan has contributed over $170 million to various interventions in Cox's Bazar as well as in Bhasan Char through international organisations and NGOs.
These assistances included food assistance, healthcare, WASH, shelter, protection, and gender.
Witnessing the actual ongoing activities in the rainy field, Honda said, "It was impressive to see the various interventions in the field, as well as the real environment where displaced people live. I was also touched that displaced persons were actively engaged in the service delivery in many project sites."
As the crisis is turning into its sixth year, it is essential to keep the attention of the global community, while multiple emergencies have been taking place in different parts of the world.
Acknowledging the difficulty the response has faced, Honda noted, "The Government of Japan will further cooperate with the relevant agencies for better living conditions of displaced persons in Cox's Bazar and Bhasan Char as well as of host communities.
"Japan will also work toward the safe, voluntary and dignified repatriation to Myanmar. Finding sustainable solutions to this crisis will be conducive to our pursuit of a "Free and Open Indo-Pacific," he added.
He also attended the "Memorial Ceremony for the Members for the Preparatory Study on the Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project", in memory of the victims of Holey Artisan Bakery Terror Attack in 2016, which was organised by Jica and the Ministry of Road, Transport and Bridges in Bangladesh, on Sunday.
The monument to commemorate the seven victims of tragic terror attack was built in the Urban Railway Exhibition and Information Centre.
The monument was established by the affected consulting firms and Jica in May 2022.
Obaidul Quader, minister of Road Transport and Bridges, also attended the ceremony, representing the government of Bangladesh.
In the presence of Dr Tanaka Akihiko, Ambassador Ito Naoki, and representatives of consulting firms, Honda read out messages on behalf of KISHIDA Fumio, prime minister of Japan, and Hayashi Yoshimasa, minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan.
Also, Ambassador Ito read out a message from ASO Taro, president of the Japan-Bangladesh Parliamentary Friendship Association.
In the ceremony, the participants pledged to take safety measures in ODA projects and to prevent recurrence of such tragic incident.
After the ceremony, the participants offered flowers to the monument.
Prior to the ceremony, Honda, together with Ambassador Ito, visited the depot of Dhaka Metro (MRT), and was briefed from the companies involved.