How Japan Responds To H'Tota Port Being Acquired By China?: Japanese Defence Minister Visits Port

Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera, who is currently on a visit to Sri Lanka, engaged in an inspection tour of the Hambantota harbour operated by China. 

The Sri Lankan government recently signed an agreement with China too hand over the operations of the port to the country on a 99 year lease. 

China's move to acquire the Hambantota port was considered a 'geo-political' masterstroke as the port is located at a key strategic point in the Indian ocean concerning Beijing's 'One Belt One Route' initiative. 

Therefore, the move alarmed other nations in the Asian region including India and China. 

Although Japan is a competitor of China for economic power in Asia and the two countries share complicated bilateral relations, Japan has effectively joined China's OBOR initiative to facilitate trade in the continent. 

Japan has openly expressed support for the project and the Trade Ministers of the two countries even held discussions this year to reach a consensus on mutual cooperation. 

Therefore, Japan has not openly expressed any concerns about China acquiring operations of the Hambantota International Port. 

It is in this context that the Japanese Defence Minister's visit to the Hambantota international port took place.

The Japanese Minister also visited the Trincomalee harbour earlier in the day and met with officers of the JMSDF “Ikazuchi” docked at the harbour. 

He also had discussions with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and State Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardena.​
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