Dhaka – Japan has extended full support to Bangladesh for safe and dignified repatriation of Rohingya refugees, hundreds of thousands of whom have fled a brutal military crackdown at home in Myanmar in 2017.
Tokyo’s support to Dhaka was mentioned in the joint statement issued after official talks between Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Japanese counter Shizo Abe on Wednesday.
State-run Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha news agency reported from Tokyo that the two leaders discussed about finding a “durable and early solution” to the protracted Rohingya crisis.
Bangladesh has been hosting more than a million of Rohingya Muslims who crossed into Bangladesh facing persecution in Myanmar over the decades. Of them more than 750,000 fled a brutal military crackdown in August 2017, and are living in squalid camps in south-eastern district of Cox’s Bazar.
Bangladesh and Myanmar signed an agreement in November 2017 for repatriation of the refugees. But the authorities in Myanmar have so far taken no tangible efforts to take the minority ethnic groups back to their homes.
Hasina, who is now in a four-day visit to Japan, discussed the issue with her counterpart at the official talks. She appreciated Japanese realization of the gravity of the crisis saying “Prime Minister Abe and I discussed finding a durable and early solution to the humanitarian and political crisis”.
Japan understands that the solution to this crisis lies in the early, safe and dignified return of this displaced people to their homeland Myanmar and it is necessary for Myanmar to create conducive atmosphere in Rakhine State of Myanmar for the return of the displaced people, she said.
Hasina thanked the Japanese government for their generous support to Dhaka in handling the crisis, and for their efforts to support early repatriation of the forcibly displaced people to Myanmar.
The prime minister said she and Abe reiterated their commitment to take Bangladesh-Japan relations to new heights of cooperation and partnership.
“And I am confident that we will achieve that much more given the excellent understanding and friendship that exist between our two peoples and our governments,” she said.