Japan “keen to join” 2nd Padma Bridge construction efforts: Ambassador
Japanese Ambassador Ito Naoki has said his country is keen to join Bangladesh government's ongoing construction efforts of second Padma Bridge while the first one was built due to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's "far-sighted vision and political astuteness".
"I am sure that once the second Padma Bridge becomes a reality, Japanese government and JICA will be in a position to consider the possibility of participation in the construction efforts by the government," he told a group of selected journalists at his residence on Tuesday (June 21, 2022).
The envoy said right now the Japanese government's position is: "We should seize the opportunity to offer our cooperation (in building the second Padma Bridge) to the government of Bangladesh".
"I am sure that it (Padma Bridge) is going to be very impactful, successful ... so the second Padma Bridge will be a reality," he said.
Japan has so far provided assistance to build 134 small and large bridges all over Bangladesh, he noted.
Terming the Padma Bridge as a national dream and pride which demonstrates what Bangladesh can do for its economic development and stability, the envoy said it would truly fulfill the growth potential of Bangladesh.
The envoy said the year 2022 of Bangladesh would be remembered by the world with so many examples of quality infrastructure including inauguration of Padma Bridge this month and metro rail by end of this year.
Recalling Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to Japan in 1996, Naoki said she made a request to the Japanese side for cooperation on two bridges – Padma Bridge and Rupsha Bridge.
The envoy said Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) conducted the preliminary feasibility study for the Padma Bridge and constructed Rupsha Bridge.
The ambassador, however, said it was rather unfortunate that JICA could not be part of financing the Padma Bridge.
He highly appreciated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's courteous decision to build the bridge by own funding and said it clearly demonstrates what Bangladesh is capable of doing on its own.
The envoy said Japan focuses on a number of mega projects in Dhaka, Chattogram and Cox's Bazar in line with the Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth Belt (BIG-B) initiative for the construction of an industrial corridor.