Bangladeshi Prime Minister Khaleda Zia has laid a foundation stone at a memorial in Tokyo that honors the martyrs of the Bangla language movement.
Ms. Khaleda said at a dedication ceremony Tuesday that laying the stone marked a "historic moment."
The memorial is named Shaheed Manir after the site in the Bangla capital, Dhaka, where police killed a number of protesters in 1952. The protesters were demanding that Bangla be recognized, along with Urdu, as state languages in then-East Pakistan.
East Pakistan broke away from Pakistan in 1971 and declared itself as Bangladesh.
Ms. Khaleda is in Japan for an official visit expected to focus on bilateral trade relations and Japanese investment in a Bangladeshi bridge project.
She plans to meet her Japanese counterpart, Junichiro Koizumi, on Thursday.