AFP, this morning, reported that Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is due to arrive in Dhaka on Saturday for a three-day visit to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka aimed at offsetting China’s mounting influence in South Asia.
The Japanese Prime Minister’s visit to Sri Lanka comes just days ahead of the visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping. With China’s assistance, Sri Lanka has already launched several large scale development and construction projects across the country.
Abe is to meet his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina on Saturday in Dhaka and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse on Sunday in Colombo to boost economic and security ties.
Speaking to reporters before leaving Tokyo, Prime Minister Abe said he was the first Japanese premier to visit Bangladesh in 14 years and Sri Lanka in 24 years. He called Bangladesh and Sri Lanka “countries with a growing influence in economic and political domains”.