Japan expects Bangladesh's first metro rail line in Dhaka to be operational this year despite the coronavirus pandemic that had slowed down all economic activities.
"I am delighted to share with you that Dhaka MRT Line 6 is expected to start operation within this year," Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ito Naoki said in a New Year Message today.
Japan is funding the Dhaka MRT Line 6, which costs $2.8 billion. Bangladesh's first metro line, which is 20.1km long will be capable of carrying 60,000 passengers an hour, reducing travel time from Uttara to Motijheel from at least two hours to less than an hour.
Stating that 2020 was an unusual year, Ito Naoki said despite the pandemic, the bilateral relations between Japan and Bangladesh grew stronger. Japan provided support to Bangladesh to fight the pandemic and budget support for the first time ever.
The two countries also signed the largest ever loan package worth over $3.2 billion in August last year, while the mega projects are making significant progress without considerable delay.
Ambassador Ito Naoki said Japan is expecting to further promote people to people interaction and cultural exchanges between the two countries. From July, Japan will host the Olympics and hopes Bangladesh athletes to participate in it and bring Olympic medals.
Noting that Bangladesh celebrates the 50th anniversary of its independence and 50th anniversary of Japan-Bangladesh diplomatic relations in 2022, the ambassador said he would like to take these milestones to further foster the bilateral relationship.