21 October 2019, Ref: 2019-831

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has visited Odawara City and met with Kenichi Kato, the Mayor of the city, as part of his ongoing visit to Japan. The President is in Japan on an official visit to attend the official enthronement of the Japanese Emperor Naruhito, who ascended to the Chrysanthemum throne earlier this year, following the abdication of Emperor Akihito. 

During the meeting, President Solih and Mayor Kenichi discussed ways to learn from each other in various areas. President Solih expressed his hope to further extend the close relations between the two countries at national and provincial levels, and share best practices among the local governments. 

Speaking further, President Solih conveyed his sincere sympathies to the Mayor and the people of Odawara who were affected by Typhoon Hagibis. He further commended the Japanese Government for its swift action to recover from the damage. 

While Japan hosts the 2020 Summer Olympics, Odawara City will host the Maldivian athletes competing in the games during the pre-game training and the event. The athletes will train at the Shiroyama Athletic Field in Odawara City—first built in 1955—with eight tracks, five throwing event areas and 12 jumping event areas for Olympic sports. 

The Mayor expressed his confidence that Odawara will extend every support necessary to the Maldivian athletes during their training. Odawara is the economic and cultural hub of the southern Kantō region, and while it is the host city to the Maldivian athletes, the town’s residents will also be the cheering squad for the various events participated by the Maldivian teams. 

Following the meeting, the President also attended a lunch hosted by Mayor Kenichi, and visited the Shiroyama Athletic Field and the Suzuhiro Kamaboko (Fish Cake) Factory. Established in 1865, the Suzuhiro Kamaboko now specialises in processing kamaboko—a Japanese processed seafood product made from pounded white fish—with a strong commitment to sustainability, conservation and innovation. 

Source:The President's Office

21 October 2019, Ref: 2019-830

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has met with Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, at a summit meeting held in Tokyo. The meeting took place as part of the President’s ongoing Official Visit to Japan.

The two leaders conversed on how best to forward bilateral relations between Maldives and Japan by building on the fruitful history of constructive engagement between the two countries. Japan continues to be one of the single largest aid donors to the Maldives, helping the country progress in infrastructural development and virtually all socio-economic spheres: from health to education, to climate-resilience and environmental conservation. Alongside the Maldives’ own national development efforts, Japanese aid was crucial in bolstering the Maldives’ successful graduation from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to Middle-Income Countries (MICs) status in 2011. During the meeting, the President extended his heartfelt gratitude to Japan’s government and people for all that it has done for the Maldives over the years.

As President Solih’s administration seeks to realize an ambitious development agenda at home, entailing: a shift to a decentralized governance framework and a transformed economy that will benefit all citizens equitably, the Maldives is once again in need of the help of our international partners. Accordingly, discussions centred around how future engagement between the two countries can complement President Solih’s domestic initiatives, availing Japanese technical assistance and entrepreneurship in areas such as governance, infrastructural development, and fiscal policy. Further, the discussions touched on increasing the number of Japanese tourists to the Maldives, facilitating better air travel between the two countries and enhancing cooperation in the multilateral fora.
The President also conveyed his congratulations to Emperor Naruhito for his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, and also relayed his deepest sympathies for those affected by Typhoon Hagibis which devastated the Kantō region of Japan last week.

At the meeting’s conclusion, the President wished Prime Minister Abe well in fulfilling his duties to the Japanese people which the Prime Minister reciprocated in turn, and invited the PM to undertake a visit to the Maldives.

Source: The President's Office

20 October 2019, Ref: 2019-828

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and First Lady Fazna Ahmed have arrived in Japan for an Official trip on the invitation of the Japanese Government. The President’s Official Bilateral Visit to the State of Japan will commence on Monday, when he is scheduled to meet with the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, and is further scheduled to meet with several other leading figures in Japan’s Government and Private Sector for discussions regarding how to take forward the already excellent cooperation between the two countries.
The President, along with his counterparts and visiting delegations from almost the entire globe, will attend the official enthronement of the Japanese Emperor Naruhito, who ascended to the Chrysanthemum throne earlier this year, following the abdication of Emperor Akihito. The President and First Lady will also attend a multilateral networking function with several dozens heads of states and governments present.
Japan is a country to whom the Maldives owes much. For decades Japan has been one of the largest aid donors to the Maldives, helping the Maldives progress virtually all of its national sectors: from health to education, to tourism, to finance. The sea-wall that surrounds the Maldives’ capital city, Male’ – and was instrumental in protecting it from the devastation of the 2004 Asian Tsunami - was built with Japanese aid. Japan’s magnanimity over the years has helped the Maldives’ infrastructural development, strengthened human resources, and made the islands more climate-resilient.
Japan’s aid and investment, much of it channelled through the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), greatly complemented the Maldives’ national development efforts and helped the country graduate from Least Development Country (LDC) status in 2011.
The Maldives wishes to climb much higher economic heights, while also rectifying the economic and social disparities that have emerged between the capital city and other islands as a result of over-centralization and longstanding governmental neglect of outlying atolls. President Solih’s Administration has embarked on an especially ambitious national development agenda, prioritizing: decentralizing the country; building urban centres in each atoll; vastly improving the country’s nationwide transportation network and building economies of scale, complemented by sound financial institutions and good governance.
To realize this vision, Maldives needs the help of international allies and partners, and few have proven to be as reliable or as generous a friend as Japan. Further, Japan is a country whose economic growth and industrial success are almost unparalleled in rapidity and scale, and one which still boasts the designation of being the world’s third-largest economy. The scope for learning from Japan’s experiences and ongoing projects, and availing their technical expertise in several fields, in terms of progressing the Maldives’ own economy and building up infrastructure is immense.
Towards those ends, in addition to meeting with the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for bilateral talks, he is also scheduled to meet with the Japan-Maldives Parliamentary friendship group; the President of JICA, as well as CEOs and senior figures representing Japanese businesses. In his discussions and deliberations with these figures, the President will aim to secure Japanese investments in a range of areas, from budgetary support to infrastructural development and institutional strengthening.
Further, to symbolize and encourage the cultural engagement and growing people-to-people contact between the two countries, while paying his respect to Japan’s monumental cultural achievements and rich history the President will be making several stops in places especially significant to Japan. His visit will include programs in Kyoto City, Hiroshima and Osaka. In addition, he will also meet with the community in Odawara, whose residents were exceptionally generous in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami, raising funds of their own accord and sending the Maldives direct aid to help in the country’s recovery.
Following the conclusion of these official components, the President will return to the Maldives within six days. It is expected that this trip will be a success and will help open a new chapter in the bilateral relations between the Maldives and Japan and yield several multilateral benefits to our country.

Source:The President's Office

The second round of the Maldives –Japan Policy Dialogue was held in Male’ today. The first round was held in 2018, in Tokyo, Japan. The Policy Dialogue is a forum to discuss progress on areas of cooperation between the two countries.

The Maldives delegation at the dialogue was led by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs His Excellency Ahmed Khaleel. The Japanese delegation was led by Director-General, Southeast and Southwest Asian Affairs Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr. Shigeki Takizaki.

During the consultation, the two countries discussed cooperation in areas of mutual interests including economic cooperation, people to people exchanges, regional, and international issues.


Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maldives