Sri Lankan president starts Japan tour amid UNHRC pressures

2013-03-12 12:20:22 GMT2013-03-12 20:20:22(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

COLOMBO, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived in Japan on Tuesday for a four-day official visit that will see him sign key agreements and lobby for more investment for the post-war island.

The President's Office said on Tuesday morning that Rajapaksa and his contingent including business leaders were received by Minoru Kiuchi, Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs in Japan, Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, Sri Lankan Ambassador in Japan and Nobuhito Hobo, Japanese Ambassador in Sri Lanka at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo.

"During the visit, President Rajapaksa is expected to hold discussions with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and have an audience with the Emperor and Empress of Japan who will also be hosting a lunch for the president and the first lady at the Imperial Palace," the statement from the President's Office said.

President Rajapaksa is scheduled to host a breakfast meeting for leaders of Japan's corporate and industry sectors as well as attend the inaugural ceremony of the Sri Lanka Business Forum.

In addition to several bilateral meetings with Japanese ministers and government officials, President Rajapaksa is also scheduled to attend a meeting of the Japan-Sri Lanka Parliamentary League and meet with Ambassador Yasushi Akashi.

This is Rajapaksa's second official tour to Japan since coming into power.

Political analysts also believe that closed door discussions will take place to encourage Japan to support Sri Lanka as it counters a U.S. backed resolution to be tabled at the ongoing United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions.

The resolution urges promotion of human rights and reconciliation as well as calling for credible investigations into alleged war crimes during the country's civil conflict that ended in 2009.

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