Bangladesh has asked for Japan's cooperation to train potential workers as the country has adopted a new immigration law.
Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque made the request at the second foreign office consultations in Tokyo on Monday.
The foreign ministry said he solicited Japan’s support to set up skills and Japanese language training centre in Bangladesh to train potential Bangladeshi workers for recruitment in highly skilled and less skilled sectors.
Japan, in a major policy shift, enacted last week a law to let in more foreign, blue-collar workers to ease a labour shortage.
Immigration has long been taboo in a country where many prize ethnic homogeneity, but the shrinking, ageing population has increased pressure to relax strict controls on foreign workers.
The government has said that up to 345,150 blue-collar workers will be allowed in over five years.
The foreign secretary requested Japan to foster greater friendship and people-to-people exchanges between the countries.Defining Bangladesh’s plan to develop inclusive and people-centric blue economy, he asked for Japanese assistance and collaboration in deep sea fishing and ocean resource mapping.
Senior Deputy Minister of Japanese foreign ministry Kazuyuki Yamazaki led the Japanese side during the meeting.
He said Japan would continue to fully support Bangladesh’s development on all fronts to help attain the middle-income country status by 2021.
The foreign secretary expressed hope that Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth Belt (Big-B) Initiative will accelerate cooperation for development of quality infrastructure and the investment environment in Bangladesh and will strengthen regional connectivity.
Kazuyuki Yamazaki highly commended Bangladesh’s humanitarian support to the displaced Myanmar nationals and reiterated Japan’s continued support for the safe and voluntary return and resettlement of the Myanmar nationals.
On the sidelines, the foreign secretary paid a courtesy call on State Minister of Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan Ichiro Tsukada at his office and discussed issues of mutual interest.
Tsukada is also Secretary General of Bangladesh-Japan Parliamentary Friendship (JBPFL) which works to enhance and strengthen cooperation between parliamentarians of the two countries.
Shahidul Haque also met Assistant Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobukatsu Kanehara at Prime Minister’s Office and discussed bilateral, regional and strategic issues.
The first foreign office consultation between the countries was held in Dhaka on Feb 2015.