Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa visited Sri Lanka to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries. During his visit, he met with President Wickremesinghe and Minister Sabry to discuss various matters.
The historical ties between Japan and Sri Lanka were highlighted, dating back to the 19th Century when significant Japanese figures passed through Colombo during their journeys to and from Europe. Minister Yoshimasa praised former President Jayawardena’s moving speech at the San Francisco Peace Treaty Conference in 1951, which played a crucial role in Japan’s return to the international community.
Japan expressed its commitment to supporting Sri Lanka’s development, given its strategic location along the sea lanes of the Indian Ocean and its role in the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” vision. Minister Yoshimasa shared Japan’s plan for FOIP and emphasized the importance of cooperation with the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), which Sri Lanka is set to chair from October.
Debt restructuring was also discussed, with Minister Yoshimasa advocating for a transparent and comprehensive process involving all creditor countries. Japan praised Sri Lanka’s efforts under the IMF agreement, including anti-corruption measures and policy transparency, and pledged further support for the nation’s national reconciliation initiatives.
The Foreign Minister welcomed Sri Lanka’s ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and emphasized Japan’s commitment to the universalization and promotion of the treaty’s entry into force.
During a working lunch, Minister Yoshimasa shared the outcomes of the G7 Hiroshima Summit, as Japan currently chairs the G7. They also discussed international challenges.
Japan expressed hope that Sri Lanka would swiftly overcome its current crisis and resume economic development, aiming to become a key hub in the Indian Ocean. Minister Yoshimasa assured Sri Lanka of Japan’s continuous support in achieving this goal.