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Japan expresses willingness to lead creditors in SL’s debt restructure– Japanese FM

Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi expressed his country’s willingness to take a leading role in Sri Lanka’s creditor talks on debt restructuring

.Mr Hayashi gave this assurance when he held talks President Ranil Wickremesinghe held Tuesday morning in Tokyo.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe says that discussion on restructuring Sri Lanka’s bilateral debt has already commenced with India and China at a lower level and that he has held talks with Japan on their leading role in the process.

He stated that talks with China would go to a higher level probably after the National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.

The President stated this during an exclusive interview with StratNews Global Editor-in-Chief Nitin A.Gokhale Responding to a question regarding the progress made thus far with regard to resolving the economic crisis, he said:“We’ve had discussion with the IMF. We have come to a staff level agreement.

But now we have to deal with our creditors. We didn’t have to do that earlier, we didn’t have this serious crisis. But now we have to deal with our creditors. We are unable to service our debts. Once we have a final… come to a conclusion with the creditors then we will go back to the IMF board.

“So, if you are looking at what is the phase we are in, okay we are implementing the prior actions that are required under the staff-level agreement and we have started the discussions with the bilateral creditors.

Once that’s over I think we have to do with the private creditors. “We are just starting the talks with China.

We’ll have to go to a higher level, but we have to now see whether we do it before the Chinese Communist Party conference or after.

He said “Since we are just starting the talks it may have to be just after the conference. But we will first talk with Japan then we will have the discussion with India.”

President Wickremesinghe expressed regret over the breakdown of relations between Japan and Sri Lanka following the cancellation of several investment projects by the former Government.

The President stressed that he was keen to restart those projects.The President also indicated that the Government was interested in Japan investing in Sri Lanka’s renewable energy projects.

Japan Foreign Minister Hayashi explained that Japan had increased its commitment to renewable energy and would be willing to explore future investment opportunities in Sri Lanka.

The Foreign Minister also explained that Japan would begin the skilled worker examinations in January 2023 for Sri Lankan migrant workers.

The President appreciated the support extended by Japan on the international stage and expressed the Government’s willingness to support both Japan’s and India’s campaign to become permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.

The Foreign Minister welcomed the news, stressing that Asia required greater representation on the world stage.

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