The Japan International Cooperation Agency on Wednesday said it remains ‘firmly committed’ to contributing to the development of Bangladesh.
‘We at JICA will continue giving top priority to the safety of JICA-related personnel and thoroughly assessing the situation on the ground in the places where we do our work,’ JICA president Shinichi Kitaoka in a statement.
The statement came amid fear of the withdrawal of the Japanese aid agency after seven Japanese nationals were killed during a militant attack in a Spanish restaurant in Gulshan area in Dhaka on July 1.
Another Japanese national was recused by law enforcers’ raid at the restaurant in the following morning.
‘It is extremely regrettable that seven Japanese people were killed and one injured in a terrorist attack in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on July 1,’ the statement noted.
‘The eight were consultants engaged in survey work for JICA. They were participating in a preparatory survey related to an infrastructure project to improve the urban transit situation in Dhaka, where traffic is rapidly increasing.
‘Sadly, these people, who worked hard for the development of Bangladesh, became caught up in this incident.
‘It is impossible to suppress our anger at the criminals who carried out this act of terrorism. I sincerely pray that those whose lives were lost will rest in peace and offer my condolences to their loved ones,’ Kitaoka said.
Wishing injured Japanese national a quick recovery, the Jica chief said, ‘The people who were killed and injured not only participated in survey work in Bangladesh, together with JICA they also contributed to the growth of developing countries and were expected to continue doing so.
‘It is a matter of great sorrow to us that these precious comrades were killed or injured.’
Jica chief said Gulshan attack came despite the organisation’s best effort to ensure the safety of its workforce in the wake of killing of a Japanese man in October last year.
‘Because last October a Japanese man was killed in northwest Bangladesh, we elevated our safety measures and have been alerting all JICA-related personnel to the danger,’ he said.
‘And JICA was just recently warning them again to be extra cautious, particularly during and just after Ramadan. It is quite regrettable that this result came about despite those efforts.’
Source: New Age