The Maldives and Japan have signed agreements on the continuation of Japan-funded scholarships and the exemption of visa requirements for Maldivian diplomatic and official passport holders. The exchange of notes took place on Sunday during the ongoing official visit of Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa.

One of the two agreements relates to the provision of Japanese grant aid of ¥122 million (US$864,359.39) to the Maldives for the continuation of scholarship opportunities offered by Japan for 2023, under the Japanese Project for Human Resource Development Scholarship (JDS). The grant will provide six more scholarships again this year to Maldivian students, a project that the Japanese government implemented in August 2020, further promoting human resource development in the Maldives.

The other agreement is on the exemption of visa requirements for Diplomatic and Official passports for a period of 90 days. The Exchange of Notes for the visa requirements for Diplomatic and Official passports is the first step that will eventually lead to the waiving of visa requirements for all Maldivians, according to the Foreign Ministry.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Ahmed Khaleel and Japanese Ambassador to the Maldives Takeuchi Midori exchanged the notes at a ceremony held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Higher Education, Civil Service Commission, Maldives Immigration, Embassy of Japan, and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) attended the ceremony.