President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has concluded his Official Visit to Japan and arrived back in Malé. The visit was a highly successful one, bolstering the longstanding friendly relations between the two island nations.

While in Japan, the President’s schedule included bilateral discussions with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the best way to forward the already excellent relations between the two countries. During the meeting, the President thanked the Japanese Premier for all that the country has done for the Maldives, and the two leaders offered their respective outlooks on how the two countries can better cooperate bilaterally and on the multilateral fora.

Over the years, Japan has been an irreplaceable friend to the Maldives, providing immense amounts of aid, and investing in the development of the Maldives’ human resources, infrastructure and climate resilience. The Maldives owes much of its socio-economic progress to Japan, whose magnanimity was essential to helping the country achieve the milestone of graduating from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) status in 2011, to become a Middle-Income Countries (MICs).

The executing organisation responsible for facilitating much of Japan’s projects, investments and aid in the Maldives has been the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). To relay his gratitude and explore further avenues for cooperation between the Maldives and Japan, President Solih met Shinichi Kitaoka, the President of JICA, as part of his visit.

The itinerary of his trip also included a visit to Odawara City, the host for Maldivian athletes participating in the 2020 Summer Olympics, where he met the Mayor, Kenichi Kato, and toured the Shiroyama Athletic Field where Maldivian athletes will train prior to the games. The President also visited Japan’s Maritime Disaster Prevention Centre (MDPC), where the management and staff shared their expertise regarding preventing and responding to maritime disasters.

The President had travelled to Japan at the invitation of the Japanese Government. While there, the President, along with several hundred heads of states and governments, as well as visiting dignitaries from the world over, attended the enthronement ceremony of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Naruhito, formalising the new monarch’s ascent to the Chrysanthemum throne.