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IDJ-ENGLISH Working with Japan to fight global crises


Message for Japan

Monzurul Huq
Correspondent to Tokyo
Bangladesh Newspaper, “Prothom Alo”

Working with Japan to fight global crises

-Young people need jobs in Bangladesh

It has been five years since the day that shocked the people of our two countries – Bangladesh and Japan. We, the people of Bangladesh, would like to commemorate and express our sincere gratitude once again to our Japanese friends who worked on the construction of infrastructure and economic development of Bangladesh, and who regrettably became the targets of terrorism.
Flowers will be laid at a ceremony in Dhaka on July 1 to mourn all who had fallen victim on that day, including Italians as well as Bangladeshis who also died along with the Japanese victims. Dhaka’s urban transportation system, which Japan is building with Official Development Assistance (ODA), is expected to open by the end of this year. In Bangladesh, there is a proposal to write about the tragedy that tragically claimed the lives of the people who contributed to the project, on a station plaque, to ensure that what happened is passed on to younger generations in the future.
The incident happened just as Islamic fundamentalist forces were rising globally. But no one could have predicted that anything like this was to happen in Bangladesh. As a result, this incident had set off a big alarm. After that, the Bangladeshi government proceeded with some difficult arrests and succeeded in containing the spread of terrorist acts. Helped by the success in containing the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria, young people who were being drawn towards Islamic fundamentalism seem to have been mostly contained in our country.
However, containment by force is not a permanent solution. Young people need to have employment opportunities and income sources. Otherwise, there is still the risk that there could be a resurgence of radical thoughts.
In Bangladesh there are many other risks the country is facing, and climate change is the most serious one. The cyclone that struck in 1991 killed more than 100,000 people. Since then, with the cooperation of the Japanese government and NGOs, many cyclone shelters have been built in coastal areas, and the number of casualties has dropped significantly. However, disasters are frequent due to climate change. If the sea level rise continues in the future, there is a possibility of millions of “climate refugees” in our country. Japan has increased its coastal area assistance, in spite of international community’s slowing down of support for developing countries.
In addition, the threat of COVID-19 is a new global crisis facing the world. Compared to the Indian pandemic, Bangladesh has been relatively successful in responding, but no country can fight such a global crisis single handedly. A new crisis requires new ideas.
Bangladesh, which celebrated its 50th anniversary of independence this year, will also celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with Japan next year. We, the people of Bangladesh, are deeply grateful to Japan for her continued economic cooperation and also for walking together in our long journey onward. We will continue to fight together against various global risks.
“International Development Journal”, July edition, 2021


Message for Japan




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