PRIME Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s working visit here from today, while short, will be considered significant as he is expected to use a speech to be delivered at the annual Nikkei Conference to show support towards the Japanese people in the present difficult times faced by Malaysia’s important trading and business partner.
Najib was scheduled to arrive late today, at a time when Japan was under tremendous pressure resulting from the devastating March 11 earthquake, tsunami and the ensuing nuclear disaster.
Several world leaders including those of France, China, Australia and South Korea have come to Japan to offer their personal condolences to the Japanese government and people in light of the tragedy.
Najib’s visit here will be the final leg of a series of working visits that have taken him to Qatar, the United Kingdom and to several investment promotional meetings with powerful money and asset managers in Wall Street, where he continued to highlight his administration’s core policies of transforming both the Malaysian government and its economy.
He, however, has had to make a change to his schedule to see for himself the site of the tragic landslide incident at home before flying to Tokyo.
He will be accompanied by his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.
Najib will speak at the Nikkei’s 17th International Conference on “The Future Of Asia — Stronger Ties And Greater Growth As Keys To Overcoming Asia’s Challenges” tomorrow.
The annual conference has been held since 1995 and has seen the participation of many Asian leaders.
Malaysian Ambassador to Japan, Datuk Shaharuddin Md Som said yesterday that Najib would also speak at a roundtable meeting of the Japan-Malaysia Economic Association.
Over 20 captains of Japanese industries are expected to attend the meeting, including top officials of corporations such as Hitachi, Marubeni, Sumitomo and Toshiba.
During his visit here, Najib was also expected to use the opportunity to provide more details of Malaysia’s Government Transformation Programme and the Economic Transformation Programme to the Japanese corporate giants at the roundtable meeting.
Shaharuddin said Japan would continue to be Malaysia’s vital trading partner.
He said although the recent tragedy could affect the amount of bilateral trade between the two countries, the Japanese government had budgeted a multi-billion dollar reconstruction plan.
About 15,000 people were killed in the March 11 tragedy, mostly due to the Tsunami which followed a powerful earthquake off Japan’s eastern coast.
About 11,000 more are still listed as missing and losses have been estimated at between US$20 billion (RM60 billion) and US$30 billion.
Source : New Straits Times