On Tuesday, 19 March, Mme. Pany Yathotou, President of the National Assembly of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, who was in Japan at the invitation of the House of Representatives, visited the House with her delegation and met with Mr. Tadamori Oshima, Speaker; Mr. Hirotaka Akamatsu, Vice-Speaker; Mr. Takeo Kawamura, Chairman of the Japan-Lao Parliamentary Friendship League; Ms. Sanae Takaichi, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Rules and Administration; Mr. Isshu Sugawara, Mr. Yoshio Tezuka and Mr. Hidemichi Sato, Directors of the Committee; and Mr. Toshikazu Morita, Mr. Tetsuya Shiokawa and Mr. Hajime Hirota, Members of the Committee.
Speaker Oshima, beginning by welcoming the delegation to Japan, spoke highly of the further promotion of parliamentary exchanges between their countries since the official visit to Laos by the Japan-Lao Parliamentary Friendship League at the end of last year. Also, thanking Laos for its support after natural disasters hit Japan, Mr. Oshima said that Japan would continue to be the top donor contributing to the development of Laos, based on the strategic partnership. In addition, regarding the economic situation, he suggested that it was crucial to improve the investment environment in Laos to attract Japanese companies' capital.
In reply, Assembly President Pany, expressing gratitude to Speaker Oshima for his invitation to Japan, extended her welcome for further deepening bilateral relations. She emphasized the importance of expanding Japanese companies' investment in Laos, and stated her hopes for furthering bilateral parliamentary ties through sharing the experience of Japan's Diet and increasing the number of visits by parliamentarians. Moreover, relating to the Japanese cooperation in developing the legal system in Laos, she informed Mr. Oshima that the civil code which Japan had helped to draft was approved by the National Assembly.
Other subjects in their meeting included the importance of multilateral parliamentary exchanges within international and regional frameworks, a request for Japan's support for a highway construction project, and exploring the possibility of starting a direct flight between their counties.