Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- Visiting Japanese foreign minister Fumio Kishida said his country seeks to develop a "comprehensive partnership" with Dhaka as it expects Bangladesh to be a member of the middle income nations in next seven years.
"Japan has full confidence in Bangladesh's moving towards becoming a middle-income country by 2021," a foreign office statement quoted Kishida as telling his counterpart Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali on Saturday.
He added that in view of the rapid progress of Bangladesh, Tokyo now looked forward to further strengthen "our bilateral relations based on a comprehensive partnership of cooperation".
A Japanese foreign ministry spokesperson, meanwhile, at a media briefing supplemented the foreign office statement saying the minister's visit was aimed at "renewing cooperation" with Bangladesh as Tokyo believed it to be a "traditionally very friendly towards Japan".
"It (relationship) should be comprehensive partnership," spokesperson Koichi Mizushima said quoting Kishida hours after the meeting of the two ministers.
The spokesman said the relationship between the two countries would be in "all fronts" though he stressed on economic ties against the backdrop of growing Japanese investments.
Kishida is the first high-profile Japanese minister to arrive Bangladesh on a two-day visit last night after the Jan 5 parliamentary election reelecting Awami League government to power for another five-year term.
The foreign office statement said the two ministers also exchanged views on possible Japanese financing for some key mega- infrastructure projects in Bangladesh when Ali stressed that Japan could effectively contribute to promoting regional connectivity and integration, through its support for the BCIM Economic Corridor. 
"The Japanese side expressed interest in further contributing to improving the investment climate in Bangladesh to facilitate enhanced Japanese investment through developing necessary legal and regulatory framework," it said.
The statement said Kishida expressed satisfaction at the favourable investment facilities enjoyed by 176 Japanese enterprises currently operating in Bangladesh. 
It said at the outset of the talks, the minister recalled the "excitement" generated by the historic visit of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to Japan in October 1973. 
Kishida said that he carried with him a memento from Bangabandhu's visit as a gift for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. 
Ali on the other hand recalled that Japan recognized the independent Bangladesh on 04 February 1972 among the first few countries to have done so.
According to the statement the Japanese minister underscored the importance of democratic continuity in ensuring Bangladesh's ongoing development process and said that his government did not support any form of violence in the democratic process.
The Japanese spokesman, however, evaded any direct answer questions to the current political situation in Bangladesh but said Kishida appreciated that BNP was participating in the ongoing local government elections and that he expected "democracy will be further promoted in the country".
The foreign office statement said Kishida conveyed Ali the Japanese Prime Minister's appreciation for Bangladesh's lead contributions to UN Peacekeeping Operations and specially recalled the supreme sacrifice of 113 valiant peacekeepers from Bangladesh. 
He committed to cooperate in human resource development for peacekeeping, including through regular exchange of defence officials. 
Kishida positively responded to the idea of setting up a Peace building Centre in Bangladesh and offered to initiate bilateral consultations at the working level in this regard. The Japanese Foreign Minister also appreciated Bangladesh's perspectives on UN Security Council Reform.
BBN/SSR/AD-23Mar14-12:54 am (BST)