President Abdulla Yameen has officially been invited for an official state visit to Japan, with local media reporting that he will make the journey in March next, year.
Meanwhile, a ceremony was held at the foreign ministry to announce the award of 200 million Japanese yen (MVR30 million) in grant aid for medical supplies.
The invitation to Japan was made during an official visit to the President’s Office by Japanese Ambassador to the Maldives Nobuhito Hobo.
“President Yameen expressed confidence that his visit would further expand the close ties between the two countries. During his visit the President will meet with Emperor Akihito, Prime Minister Abe and other senior official of the Japanese Government,” reported the President’s Office website.
Whilst former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom visited Japan three times during his thirty year rule, it was reported that President Yameen’s visit will be the first time a Maldivian leader has been invited by the Japanese head of state.
During the meeting with Nobuhito today, the topics of bilateral ties were discussed and the ambassador was thanked for his country’s support for the Maldives’ election bid for a second term on the UN Human Rights Council.
“President Yameen Abdul Gayoom noted the importance of people-to-people contact, and the important role of Japan as a key tourism market for the Maldives. On this point, Ambassador Hobo assured the President of Japan’s wish to enhance promotion activities of the Maldives as a preferred tourism destination for Japanese holidaymakers,” reported the President’s Office.