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International relations

Japan, Bangladesh leaders meet to discuss economic ties, terrorism

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Japanese and Bangladeshi prime ministers met Wednesday in Tokyo to discuss ways to deepen economic ties and cooperate in counterterrorism measures.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to express Japan's support for infrastructure development along the Bay of Bengal during the summit with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina, according to Japanese officials.

Terrorism is also on the agenda after a 2016 attack on a Dhaka cafe that killed 22 people, including seven Japanese.

 Abe and Hasina are also expected to take up the issue of Rohingya refugees, who fled to Bangladesh to escape a military crackdown in Myanmar.

Japan has offered to assist Bangladesh in realizing an early return of Rohingya people to Myanmar, the officials said.

The two countries have close economic ties with a number of Japanese companies operating in the South Asian country. Japan exports steel and machinery to Bangladesh, which is a major exporter of clothes to Japan.

Japan views Bangladesh as an important partner as Tokyo seeks to facilitate the flow of people and goods by building high-quality infrastructure in the Indo-Pacific region, where China is expanding its influence.

Hasina is visiting Japan for the fifth time since she became prime minister in 2009.

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