State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam on Tuesday said the government would take appropriate steps if any foreign diplomat stationed in Dhaka crosses the boundary.

He described Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ito Naoki's recent comments on Bangladesh's election as "unexpected" and said Bangladesh will convey its message to Japan regarding the matter.

On Monday, Ambassador Naoki said he heard about the example of "ballot box stuffing" and some police officers stuffed the ballot box the previous night which is something he had never heard of in any other country.

The State Minister said the Japanese side did not raise such an issue in the last four years in any bilateral meeting or any discussion.

Even it was not mentioned in the statement issued by the Japanese Embassy after the 2018 elections, Alam said.

Recalling the 2018 election, Ambassador Naoki said the Japanese Embassy in Dhaka had issued a statement of concern which was very unusual for his country though it was focused more on violence.

The State Minister hoped that commonsense will prevail in the days to come and they (diplomats) will act accordingly.

"When we see it's crossing the boundary, we are saying very clearly and loudly that we will take appropriate steps," he said.

The State Minister said he has nothing else to say beyond this, especially about the very friendly country Japan.

He said the government is committed to hold a free and fair election and the Election Commission is working to that end.

Japanese Ambassador Ito Naoki on Monday said they expect that the next national election in Bangladesh will be held in a "free and fair" manner with the participation of all major political parties.

"We expect the next election will be a better one. Free and fair elections need to be done here. That's my strong hope," he said while responding to a question at an event titled "Meet the Ambassador" held in a Dhaka hotel.

At the same time, the envoy said, this is something that the political parties should decide but the expectation is that the election will be a participatory one and the major political parties will participate in it.

On Monday, Deputy Education Minister Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury questioned the role of certain foreign envoys stationed in Dhaka.

Mohibul, son of veteran Awami League leader late ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury, also said the media reports certain comments by certain foreign missions' heads in Bangladesh violating the Vienna Convention.

"Do they say or do anything about Myanmar's genocide and expulsion of Rohingya?" he tweeted in oblique reference to certain remarks made by the Japanese ambassador in Dhaka on Monday. He, however, did not name anyone.

"Will Japan stop investing there (Myanmar)? Double standards?" the Deputy Education Minister mentioned.

"No mutual respect - no mutual trust," he also said.

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