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Japan Interested In Free Trade Agreement

Minister of External Affairs Prof. G. L. Peiris and Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa, who are currently in Japan on an official visit from 26th to 30th July 2010, met with Mr. Seiji Maehara, Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan and Mr. Yasuo Fukuda, Former Prime Minister of Japan and Honorary President of the Japan - Sri Lanka Association.

Japan has expressed interest in engaging in the necessary consultations with regard to a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Sri Lanka and Japan, Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Masayuki Naoshima has said in Tokyo.

Naoshima has made this statement in response to a request by External Affairs Minsiter Prof. G.L. Peiris and Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa that Japan should consider entering into a Free Trade Agreement with Sri Lanka in recognition of the vast opportunities now available in Sri Lanka in respect of investment and trade.

The External Affairs Ministry said Japan’s Minister for the Economy has said that the first-hand impressions of influential Japanese personalities like Yasushi Akashi, Japan’s Special Representative; Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of the Nippon Foundation, and Madam Ogata, Head of JICA, who had a deep understanding of developments in Sri Lanka, were of immense value to the Government of Japan in shaping the current policy. He has assured the Sri Lankan Ministers that Japan would enhance assistance to the maximum possible extent in the new stable and peaceful situation prevailing in Sri Lanka.

Ministers Peiris and Rajapaksa had explained to Naoshima the steps now being taken by the Government of Sri Lanka to move the country forward in every sphere.

Minister Naoshima has expressed appreciation particularly about the rapid progress in the resettlement of internally displaced persons.

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