President Yameen to make official visit to Japan

President Abdulla Yameen will conduct an official visit to Japan later this month, the President’s Office has revealed.

Yameen will visit Japan between April 14 and 17, during which time he will meet with Emperor Akihito, Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, and other senior Ministers of the Japanese Government.

The President’s Office has said that Yameen will discuss ways to expand Maldivian-Japanese relations, as well as meeting with business leaders and potential investors.

Last week, the president promised that his government was to open up the Maldives in a huge way to foreign investors”.

Japan is the biggest bilateral donor to the Maldives, with data from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency showing that the east Asian nation had given over US$450 million to the Maldives in development assistance between 2004 and 2010.

Projects benefiting from Japanese aid have included the first mechanisation of fishing vessels between 1973-76, the development of Malé’s seawall between 1987-2003, and the extension of loans amounting to US$34 million for post-tsunami reconstruction.

Japan is also one of the Maldives largest trading partners, importing over US$3million worth of fish from the Indian Ocean nation in 2012.

Since winning last year’s election, President Yameen has paid official visits to Sri Lanka and India. He is currently in Saudi Arabia on an unofficial trip.