Japan–Sri Lanka relations

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Japan-Sri Lankan relations
Map indicating locations of Japan and Sri Lanka


Sri Lanka

Japan–Sri Lanka relations refers to the bilateral relations between the Sri Lanka and Japan.

Japan has an embassy in Colombo.[1] Sri Lanka has an embassy in Tokyo.[2] Diplomatic relations with Japan were established in 1952, four years after Sri Lanka gained independence from the United Kingdom. In 2012, the 60th anniversary was celebrated with the issuance of a commemorative coin.[3]

According to a 2005 BBC World Service Poll, 50% of Sri Lankans view Japan's influence positively, with 4% expressing a negative view.[4]

Second World War[edit]

Main article: Indian Ocean raid

The Easter Sunday Raid was the air raid carried out by Japan on Easter Sunday (5 April) 1942 on Colombo; a few days later Trincomalee was also attacked. These were undertaken as a part of commerce raiding and the harassment of the British Eastern Fleet in the Indian Ocean. Increasing resentment amongst the Sinhalese towards the Europeans led to more defections and popular support growing for a German or Japanese victory.[5] Two young members of the Governing Party, Junius Richard Jayawardene (who later became President) and Dudley Senanayake (later th 3rd Prime Minister), held discussions with the Japanese with a view to collaboration to oust the British. Jayawardene later played a major role in re-admitting Japan to the world community at the San Francisco Conference (see Treaty of San Francisco#Ceylon's defense of Japan).

State visits[edit]

  • In 2013 President Mahinda Rajapaksa completed four-day visit to Japan. During the visit, President Rajapaksa met Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and had an audience with the Emperor and Empress of Japan at the Imperial Palace.[6]
  • Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came to Sri Lanka for a two-day state visit in 2014 September 07.[7]

Economic links[edit]

In 1997, Sri Lanka became a member of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) which also includes Bhutan, India, Nepal, Thailand and Myanmar. BIMSTEC is looking into a free trade agreement with Japan to boost trade, which has been declining since 2000. By 2007, only 2.4% of Sri Lanka’s total exports were to Japan, mostly tea, rubber, fish and precious stones.[8]

See also[edit]