Undeterred by cafe attack, JICA to continue work in Bangladesh

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Dhaka, July 6 (IANS) A Japanese governmental aid agency has promised to continue supporting development projects in Bangladesh, after seven Japanese workers were killed in a deadly terror attack in the capital city of Bangladesh.

Following the Dhaka cafe attack, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on Tuesday said that it might withdraw its aid from Bangladesh.

JICA President Shinichi Kitaoka in a statement posted on its website on Wednesday confirmed that the Japanese nationals killed and injured in the Dhaka terror attack last Friday worked for JICA.

“It is a matter of great sorrow to us that these precious comrades were killed or injured,” said Kitaoka.

Japan’s foreign funding agency, according to Kaitaoka, would, however, “continue giving top priority to the safety of JICA personnel.”

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The JICA President also said, “Sadly, the killed and injured Japanese, who worked hard for the development of Bangladesh, became caught up in this incident.”

“It is impossible to suppress our anger at the criminals who carried out this act of terrorism,” said Kitaoka, adding that after thorough assessment of the situation in Bangladesh the places of work will be finalised.

“We also remain firmly committed to contributing to the development of Bangladesh,” Kitaoka said.

Japan is one of the largest bilateral donors in Bangladesh with its citizens working as volunteers even in remote parts of the country.

Recently, it signed six mega projects, some of which include power, road communications and disaster management sectors.

The chief of the government aid unit termed the grisly attack “extremely regrettable” and said that the slain and injured Japanese were taking part in a preparatory survey related to an infrastructure project to improve the urban transit situation in Dhaka, where traffic is rapidly increasing.

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Islamist gunmen laid siege to a cafe in upscale Dhaka’s Gulshan area on July 1, killing 20 hostages, including Japanese and Italian nationals, and an Indian. Security forces killed six gunmen and captured one, ending the siege.



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