Japan for spl security for its nationals
Japan has sought special security arrangements in all of its project areas in different places of the country for ensuring security for its nationals working in the projects.
Yesterday, Japanese Ambassador in Bangladesh Masato Watanabe met Finance Minister AMA Muhith at his secretariat office and made the request.
Talking to journalists after the meeting, Muhith said, “They [the Japanese] are concerned about the security and of course, we have given them further assurance so that they can work smoothly."
The minister said he would discuss with the home ministry how security could be provided. They would arrange security arrangements by next month.
Muhith said they would take necessary steps for ensuring foolproof security in the foreign-aided projects.
He also said there is a shortage of police and their number will be increased very soon.
He added that even though providing security to all project areas will put pressure on the government exchequer, security has to be provided.
On July 1, the country witnessed an unprecedented terrorist attack at the Holey Artisan Bakery in the capital's diplomatic zone where gunmen killed 20 hostages and two police officials during a 12-hour siege.
Of those killed, 7 were Japanese nationals. They were consultants working on a Japanese government aided project in Dhaka.
Six days later, suspected militants carried out an attack on a police checkpoint near Sholakia Eidgah in Kishoreganj where two policemen, a resident in the area and an alleged attacker were killed.
After the incident, the highest level of the government cautioned that various plots are there to carry out more terror attacks in the country.
Muhith yesterday said the government has ensured highest security in the Padma bridge project area. Similar steps will be taken in other project areas.
The finance minister also said Japan is Bangladesh's largest bilateral donor and the terms and conditions of loans given to Bangladesh by Japan are very soft.
Till June 2015, the total available fund from Japan is $4.63 billion for Bangladesh. In FY 14-15, Japan disbursed $366 million which is highest among the bilateral donors.
In June a few days before the Holey Artisan siege, loan agreements were signed with Japan for assistance in six projects with a total cost of Tk 12,819 crore. The projects include: Jamuna Railway Bridge construction project, Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development project, and Matarbari ultra-super critical coal fired power project.
After the Holey Artisan attack, a number of embassies, including that of Japan, India, Denmark, South Korea, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Austria, Thailand and the Netherlands, sought additional security for diplomats, UN organisations and their nationals living in Bangladesh.
Many embassies, foreign organisations and individuals wrote letters to the home ministry, requesting additional security measures.