The first round of Sri Lanka-Japan Policy Dialogue at Senior Official Level of the two Foreign Ministries was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombo on January 12, 2016.
The convening of the Policy Dialogue was proposed in the Joint Declaration on a ‘Comprehensive Partnership” between Sri Lanka and Japan, issued during the visit of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to Japan in October 2015.
The Dialogue focused on promotion of investment and trade collaboration in the national development plan and cooperation in the national reconciliation and peace-building process in Sri Lanka. Both sides also had discussions on regional issues as well as global challenges affecting the two countries.
Under the framework of the Policy Dialogue it was decided to hold three specialized Dialogues: a Dialogue on Maritime Security, Safety and Oceanic Issues, to be chaired by the Ministry of Defense; an Economic Cooperation Policy Dialogue and Consultation on National Development Cooperation, to be chaired by the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs and an Economic Policy Dialogue, to be chaired by the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade in the months of January, February and May of this year respectively. The next round of the Policy Dialogue at the Senior Official Level of the two Foreign Ministries will be held in Tokyo, in early 2017.
The Policy Dialogue was co-chaired by O.L. Ameer Ajwad, Director General of the East Asia and Pacific Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka and Kazuya Nashida, Director-General of the Southeast and Southwest Asian Affairs Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.
The Japan side was also represented by Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka Kenichi Suganuma, Ms. Asako Okai, Deputy Head of Mission of the Japanese Embassy in Sri Lanka, Takashi Ariyoshi, Director, Southwest Asia Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Shinichi Murata, Official, Southwest Asia Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Yasuhito Tamada, Director, International Economic Affairs Division, Global ICT Strategy Bureau, Kiyoshi Amada, Chief Representative of the JICA Sri Lanka Office and other senior officials.
On the Sri Lanka side, Ms. Neelamani Aberatne, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Special Assignments, Mrs. Nilanthi Sugathadasa, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Skills Development and Vocational Training, Mrs. Shirani Weerakoon, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs, M. Dewasurendra, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education and Highways, J.M. Thilakarathna, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation and other senior officials of several Ministries participated in the Policy Dialogue.