President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has today met with Mr Shinichi Kitaoka, President of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The meeting took place today on the sidelines of the President’s Official Visit to Japan to promote bilateral ties and attend the enthronement of new Japanese monarch, His Majesty Emperor Naruhito.
Discussions during the meeting touched upon several subjects such as the close kindred relationship that has existed for generations between the Maldives and Japan, and the similarities between the two countries that can be successfully utilised to create mutually beneficial solutions to parallel problems such as the effects of climate change. Mr Kitaoka noted that both Maldives and Japan are disaster-prone nations due to being island countries. President Solih discussed the project on ‘Building Climate Resilient Safer Islands in the Maldives’ and the installation of the new Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting (ISDB-T) system to allow for more efficient disaster prevention and e-learning, especially within the outer islands of the Maldives.
Mr Kitaoka also noted that as Maldives and Japan are both island nations within the same region, interests are closely aligned. He mentioned that Japan’s development policy, similar to the Maldives, relies on the freedom of the seas. He also noted the strong people-to-people contact that continues to exist between Japan and Maldives.
President Solih also expressed gratitude from himself and the Maldivian people for the generous assistance and support JICA has extended to the Maldives over the years, noting that JICA has been instrumental in cultivating the strong bond that exists between the two countries. He also thanked Mr Kitaoka for JICA’s assistance with formulating the ‘Master Plan for Sustainable Fisheries’ in the Maldives, and for the training and exposure opportunities provided to Maldivian youth under the Japan-East Asia Network of Students and Youths (JENESYS) Programme.