‘No change in Japan’s overseas assistance policy’
Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) - March 1, 2015 - 12:00am

TOKYO -- There is no change in the Japanese government overseas development assistance (ODA) policy.

Akihiko Sunami, director of the Develop- ment Assistance Policy Planning Division of Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told foreign journalists in a briefing early this week that the revision of Japan’s ODA Charter last year did not affect its commitment to other countries, especially its humanitarian development and disaster preparedness aid.

Foreign journalists were invited here recently by ODA-supervising agency, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), for a tour of disaster risk reduction and preparedness projects in this country.

“Japan has become a global superpower despite its destruction and defeat at the end of World War II, and being a nation living with disaster, any military training that will be given by the Japanese government will be on humanitarian activities,” Sunami said.

“ There’s no change from what we have pre- viously done. There are cases where the military plays an important role in the development of humanitarian (activities), disaster humanitarian assistance,” he said.

He explained that it helps if military forces could play a better role in humanitarian as- sistance.

“If they are much capable, then it’s a better world for everybody,” he said.

Sunami said the Japanese government would provide humanitarian training for military personnel.

“It is going to be very much for development pur- pose – that is what we have been doing in the past.” He stressed with natural disasters occurring in various parts of the world, there would be instances of such assistance being given to other

countries. “Maybe because of the climate change, I

think we are going to have much more of hu- manitarian assistance,” Sunami said.

The anticipation for more military training assistance has made the Japanese government feel “it is appropriate to spell out what it is do- ing,” Sunami said.

“We may provide training to military personnel for non-military purposes,” he said. In Manila, the Japanese embassy issued a statement last week announcing its govern-

ment’s revision of the ODA Charter. The embassy said the new charter aims to enable Japan to contribute more to securing peace, stability and prosperity in the interna- tional community based on the principle of

international cooperation. The announcement of the revision of Japan’s

ODA charter was greeted with suspicion and concern last year despite assurances that the military assistance would be for foreign military engaged in non-combat activities.

The revision of the charter, now known as the Development Cooperation Charter, highlighted the fact that Japan can expand the scope of its activities abroad, previously limited to grants, aid, technical cooperation and infrastructure develo “contributing to peace and prosperity through cooperation for non-military purposes”.

“Japan will continue to uphold this policy and comply with the principle of avoiding any use of development cooperation for military purposes or for the aggravation of international conflicts.” the Charter states.

Like the Philippines, Japan is currently in- volved in a maritime dispute with China.

While the Philippines is on a standoff with China on West Philippine Sea where the Chi- nese are engaging in land reclamation, Japan is trying to protect its Senkaku Islands from Chinese maritime intrusions.

Tensions between China and Japan have es- calated over the Japanese-held Senkakus, which Beijing calls the Diaoyus, in the East China Sea to bolster its claim of ownership of the islands.

The Japanese government has tasked the JICA to implement technical cooperation, grant aid and yen loan programs of its ODA in devel- oping countries such as the Philippines.

Japan became the largest ODA provider in 1989. From 1991 to 2000, the Asian superpower was the largest donor in the world. “contributing to peace and prosperity through cooperation for non-military purposes”.

“Japan will continue to uphold this policy and comply with the principle of avoiding any use of development cooperation for military purposes or for the aggravation of international conflicts.” the Charter states.

Like the Philippines, Japan is currently in- volved in a maritime dispute with China.

While the Philippines is on a standoff with China on West Philippine Sea where the Chi- nese are engaging in land reclamation, Japan is trying to protect its Senkaku Islands from Chinese maritime intrusions.

Tensions between China and Japan have es- calated over the Japanese-held Senkakus, which Beijing calls the Diaoyus, in the East China Sea to bolster its claim of ownership of the islands.

The Japanese government has tasked the JICA to implement technical cooperation, grant aid and yen loan programs of its ODA in devel- oping countries such as the Philippines.

Japan became the largest ODA provider in 1989. From 1991 to 2000, the Asian superpower was the largest donor in the world. ment, Sunami said.

A copy of the Development Cooperation Charter provided by the Japanese embassy in Manila showed that the basic policies laid down by the new ODA charter are focused on “contributing to peace and prosperity through cooperation for non-military purposes”.

“Japan will continue to uphold this policy and comply with the principle of avoiding any use of development cooperation for military purposes or for the aggravation of international conflicts.” the Charter states.

Like the Philippines, Japan is currently in- volved in a maritime dispute with China.

While the Philippines is on a standoff with China on West Philippine Sea where the Chi- nese are engaging in land reclamation, Japan is trying to protect its Senkaku Islands from Chinese maritime intrusions.

Tensions between China and Japan have es- calated over the Japanese-held Senkakus, which Beijing calls the Diaoyus, in the East China Sea to bolster its claim of ownership of the islands.

The Japanese government has tasked the JICA to implement technical cooperation, grant aid and yen loan programs of its ODA in devel- oping countries such as the Philippines.

Japan became the largest ODA provider in 1989. From 1991 to 2000, the Asian superpower was the largest donor in the world.

CHARTER CHINA CHINA AND JAPAN COOPERATION DEVELOPMENT JAPAN JAPANESE MILITARY ODA SUNAMI
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with