| The following statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs, Colombo

( September 1, 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The Prime Minister of Japan, His Excellency Shinzo Abe has planned to undertake an official visit to Sri Lanka from 7th to 8th September 2014, at the invitation of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. It may be recalled that President Rajapaksa paid an official visit to Japan in March 2013 to mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Japan.

It is 24 years since the last visit of a Japanese Prime Minister to Sri Lanka. The Government of Sri Lanka is confident that this visit will enable both countries to further consolidate and expand the existing robust relations, particularly in trade and economic cooperation.

Prime Minister Abe will be accompanied by a high level delegation, which also includes business leaders from several Japanese companies, notably small and medium sized enterprises, ranging from infrastructure to food industries. Japan has been a key partner in Sri Lanka’s socio-economic development and the forthcoming official visit of Prime Minister Abe will be an important milestone in further enhancing bilateral relations.