Japan will provide both short- and long-term assistance to achieve peace and the reconstruction of Sri Lanka after years of civil war, Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi told her visiting Sri Lankan counterpart, Tyronne Fernando, on Friday.

Kawaguchi said specific assistance measures, ranging from humanitarian assistance to major reconstruction, will be decided after Yasushi Akashi, Japan’s recently appointed special envoy for Sri Lanka’s reconstruction, returns home Saturday from a trip to the Indian Ocean nation.

Fernando expressed gratitude for Japan’s assistance. He explained that the current peace process, being mediated by Norway, is progressing now that the Tamil separatists have given up their demands for independence and have demonstrated efforts to be cooperative, according to a Foreign Ministry official.

Kawaguchi said Japan will not only help with reconstruction but will commit itself to the peace process. The official said this indicated that Tokyo is prepared to offer a venue for the ongoing peace talks.

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