November 22 marked a significant milestone in Japan-Sri Lanka relations as the Exchange of Notes for Japanese grant aid was formalized by Japanese Ambassador Mizukoshi Hideaki and K.M.M. Siriwardana, Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Economic Stabilization, and National Policies.
The two projects, backed by Japanese grants, signify a commitment to vital sectors in Sri Lanka. The first grant, totaling JPY 200 million (about Rs. 435 million), focuses on bolstering the infrastructure of the North-East Fisheries. Meanwhile, the second grant, amounting to JPY 160 million (about Rs. 335 million), is dedicated to establishing a Doppler Weather Radar Network.
The signing ceremony witnessed the presence of Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda and State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe, highlighting the significance of these projects to Sri Lanka’s development.
The investment in the North-East Fisheries will empower various agencies, including the Ceylon Fisheries Harbour Corporation, National Aquaculture Development Authority, and Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Department. This support aims to equip these entities with state-of-the-art equipment, from ice production machines and digital scales to advanced fishing gear and deep freezers. Ultimately, these advancements seek to elevate fisheries production value and enhance the livelihoods of fishing communities in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.
Moreover, the Japanese government’s ongoing support, dating back to June 30, 2017, for the Doppler Weather Radar Network takes on added significance amid Sri Lanka’s current economic crisis. The additional grant aid comes as a strategic response to mitigate the impact of meteorological disasters, offering enhanced short-term weather forecasting capabilities. With Sri Lanka facing escalating weather-related challenges like heavy rainfall and droughts, this aid is poised to significantly contribute to the network’s establishment, fortifying the nation’s resilience against meteorological disasters.
The Embassy of Japan in Sri Lanka reaffirms its dedication to nurturing bilateral collaboration and goodwill, emphasizing joint efforts in addressing common challenges and forging a resilient future for both nations.