The Bangladesh Embassy in Tokyo celebrated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and Japan on 10 February 2022 with due fervor. The Embassy organized a reception in a local reputed hotel- the New Otani. The venue has a historical connection to the long-standing friendly relations between Bangladesh and Japan. It may be recalled that the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, stayed at this hotel during the historical and first official visit to Japan in 1973. Bangabandhu had chosen Japan as one of the first few countries to visit after independence. That historic visit laid the foundation of the unwavering friendship between the two countries and its peoples till today. The Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh, H.E. Sheikh Hasina, visited Japan in 1997, 2010, 2014, 2016 and 2019 and successfully elevated the relations to a ‘comprehensive partnership’ level encompassing mutual cooperation at bilateral, regional and global level.
The reception was well attended by high dignitaries as well as representatives from the local embassies, ministries, business houses, media and academia including expatriate Bangladeshis. H.E. Mr. Shahabuddin Ahmed, welcomed the guests to the reception where Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, H.E. Honda Taro was the Chief Guest.
Ambassador Ahmed in his welcome remarks, expressed gratefulness to Japan and its people for their recognition of newly independent country Bangladesh on 10 February 1972. He stated that from 1972 to 2022, it has been a journey of moving together in an unwavering show of friendship and solidarity, mutual trust and understanding. Ambassador quoted from the speech of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman that was delivered at an official dinner of his Japan visit, “We have been watching with profound admiration and, if I may say so, with a sense of pride as fellow Asians, the tremendous achievements of Japan in the social and economic fields which constitute one of the most powerful influences of our time.” He further added, “The experience of Japan cannot but hold lessons for other countries such as ours”. Ambassador Shahabuddin recalled that following the experience of Japan, Bangabandhu wanted to turn Bangladesh into a major social and economic force. The congratulatory video messages from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan were screened followed by video message of Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, Dr. A K Abdul Momen and message from the President of the Japan-Bangladesh Parliamentary Friendship League, Mr. Taro Aso.
An exhibition of diplomatic archive documents and photographs showcasing the past and present of the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Japan, unveiling of design of commemorative stamps by Japan Post, presentation of commemorative coin by Japan Mint enriched the content of the momentous occasion. The event ended by the viewing of video titled “Welcome Bangabandhu” on the historic visit of the Father of the Nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to Japan on 18-24 October 1973.
The guests were treated with traditional Bangladeshi and Japanese delicacies. A celebratory cake was cut and served to the guests. All Embassy officials along with their spouses attended the event that they feel were lucky to witness in their lifetime.