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2021.09.30

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
 

*****以下、日本語原文*****

Message for Japan
バングラデシュ紙『プロトンアロ』東京特派員
モンズルル・ハク氏
 

グローバルな危機との戦い、日本と共に

若者たちには雇用創出が必要

 
バングラデシュと日本の人々に大きな衝撃を与えたあの日から、5年になる。私たちバングラデシュ国民は、わが国のインフラ建設と経済発展のために働き、テロの標的にされた日本の友人たちを改めて追悼するとともに、心より感謝の意を伝えたい。
7月1日にダッカで催される式典では、ともに亡くなったイタリア人を含む犠牲者たちを悼み、献花がされる。日本が政府開発援助(ODA)で建設しているダッカの都市交通システムは、今年中に開通する見通しだ。事業に貢献した人々を襲った悲劇は、駅の碑文に記して語り継いでいこうという提案がバングラデシュで出ている。
この事件は、イスラム原理主義勢力が世界的に台頭する中で起きた。だが、バングラデシュにおいて何が起きるのか、誰も予想できなかった。結果としてこの事件が大きな警鐘を鳴らすことになり、その後、わが国は厳しい摘発を進め、封じ込めに成功した。イスラム国(IS)がイラクやシリアで制圧されたことにも助けられ、わが国ではイスラム原理主義になびく若者も影を潜めたようだ。
しかし、力による封じ込めは恒久的な解決策にならない。若者には雇用機会と収入源を創り出す必要がある。でなければ、依然として過激思想が蔓延するリスクがある。
他にも多くのリスクに直面しており、気候変動は最たるものだ。1991年に襲来したサイクロンでは10万人以上の犠牲者が出た。その後、日本政府やNGOの協力もあり、海岸部でシェルター(避難所)が多く建てられ、犠牲者数は減った。しかし、気候変動で災害は頻発している。今後、海面上昇が続けば、わが国では何百万人もの「気候難民」発生の可能性がある。国際社会が開発途上国を支援する動きは鈍いが、日本はわが国の海岸部支援を増やしてくれている。
さらにコロナ禍の脅威も、世界が直面する新たなグローバル危機だ。インドのパンデミックに比べれば、わが国は対応に成功しているが、グローバルな危機に対してどの国も一国では戦えない。新たな危機には新たな発想が必要だ。
今年、独立50周年を迎えたバングラデシュは来年、日本との国交樹立50周年を迎える。日本は常にわが国への経済協力を続け、長い旅路を一緒に歩んできてくれたことに深く感謝している。今後もさまざまなグローバルなリスクに対し、共に戦っていきたい。
 
『国際開発ジャーナル』2021年7月号掲載

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