Japan on Wednesday pledged to provide some USD 329 million (equivalent to 35 billion yen) to Bangladesh as grant for combating coronavirus (COVID-19) in Bangladesh.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made the announcement when he talked to his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina over phone in the afternoon, said PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim.
He said Abe informed Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that their parliament has already approved the grant.
During the nearly 25-minute telephonic conversation that began around 1.05 pm, the two leaders discussed issues related to COVID-19 pandemic, bilateral economic cooperation and the projects being implemented with Japanese assistance.
Ihsanul Karim said the Bangladesh prime minister sought more investment from Japan to further bolster economic ties as well as put emphasis on further strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two friendly countries.
Sheikh Hasina apprised Shinzo Abe of the current Rohingya situation.
In reply, the Japanese premier said he will talk to Myanmar leadership to solve the Rohingya crisis, the press secretary said.
Sheikh Hasina thanked Shinzo Abe for providing protective equipment like PPE, masks and goggles to Bangladesh to contain coronavirus transmission.
The Bangladesh prime minister hoped that the 2020 Summer Olympics, which was scheduled to be organised this year in Tokyo but postponed due to the pandemic, will be held in 2021 in Japan in time.