Saleumxay Kommasith, Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs met with Crown Prince and Crown Princess Akishino of Japan during his official visit to Japan on 7-11 November.
Highlighting the close friendship and cooperation between the two countries and the importance of the Laos-Japan strategic partnership, Saleumxay expressed his gratitude for Japan’s support for Laos’ socio-economic development. A particular focus was on human resources, public health, agriculture and forestry, infrastructure development, and COVID-19 recovery. He also expressed his gratitude for Japan’s assistance in the clearance of unexploded ordnance (UXO) in Laos.
As he met with Japan’s leaders, Saleumxay reiterated Laos’ eagerness to strengthen bilateral cooperation in economic trade, investment, and tourism as his country gears up for the 2024 ASEAN chairmanship.
During the meeting with Saleumxay, Crown Prince Akishino expressed his pleasure in continuing to encourage Japanese stakeholders to work with their Lao counterparts to enhance bilateral cooperation.
As Saleumxay’s trip approached its end, the Lao deputy prime minister also met with Kishida Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan, and Tsuchiya Shinako, Chairperson of the Japan-Laos Parliamentary Friendship Association and Director of the Committee on Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism, to further discuss efforts to promote peace and development in the region.
Japan established diplomatic relations with Laos in 1955 and, since then, has funded several development projects across the country in infrastructure, education, and health. For instance, it has provided more than USD 1,190,000 to Savannakhet Province over the past five years to support education and infrastructure development. Among the most recent projects are the installation of a fence and outdoor lights at the Lao-Japan Friendship Cherry Blossom Garden in Viengxay District, Houaphanh Province, with a grant of USD 63,000.
To conclude Saleumxay’s visit, Japan’s PM Kishida pledged to continue Japan’s support for sustainable socioeconomic development, mentioning the new Cultural Grant Assistance for the reconstruction project of Chao Anouvong Stadium in Vientiane Capital.