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Japan provides technical cooperation to Nepal for agricultural production

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has signed a record of discussions with Nepal on technical cooperation to support building an irrigated agriculture model for the Terai plains, a food-producing region of Nepal, and extending the model. The support will include capacity-building in the areas of irrigation and water management, propose a market-oriented agricultural model, and formulate guidelines.

Press release - JICA

Japan Agriculture

Japanese government to change taxation rules to better support NGOs

The government of Japan has decided to amend its taxation rules to strengthen the fiscal position of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that make international contributions, starting in April 2019. The new rule will increase the upper limit of expenses that can be claimed as official development assistance (ODA) by up to three times.  The rule also aims to expand the number of NGOs that are able to contribute to international development activities.

News article - Yomiuri Newspaper (in Japanese)

Japan

Japan's Kao Group and UNFPA announce partnership to support menstrual hygiene improvement in Uganda

Kao Group and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) have signed a partnership agreement to support menstrual hygiene management in Uganda. Kao is providing funding to EcoSmart Uganda Ltd., founded by social entrepreneurs in Uganda to produce sanitary napkins domestically.

Press release - UNFPA Tokyo (in Japanese)

Press release - Kao Group

Japan Global health

Japan announces ¥891 million support in food assistance to Yemen

Japan will contribute ¥891 million (US$8 million) in food assistance to support approximately 9 million people who are in severe food shortage and 3 million people suffering from severe under-malnutrition in Yemen. The support will be channeled through the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Press release – MOFA (in Japanese)

Japan Agriculture Nutrition

Japanese Foreign Affairs Minister Kono emphasises the importance of ODA in supporting human security, among other priorities

Japanese Foreign Affairs Minister Taro Kono has delivered a speech on the importance of official development assistance (ODA). He outlined the government's priorities for Japanese ODA: 

  • Japan aims to provide ODA in support of human security
  • The outcome of ODA activities needs to be carefully evaluated to ensure accountability to Japanese taxpayers
  • Japan will support African development through a focus on strengthening governance and infrastructure development
  • Japan will promote the creation of a new international financing mechanism to channel the "benefits brought by globalization to resolve global issues"
  • Japan will provide assistance to countries beyond official ODA-recipients as determined by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Speech - Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan

Japan

New website launched to share lessons learned and key data on aging in Asia

The Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE) and the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) announced the launch of a new website, the Asia Health and Wellbeing Initiative (AHWIN), to disseminate information on aging in Asia. The goal is to share resources among the region that may be useful as other countries experience a demographic shift.

The platform aims to share: 

  • Interactive and downloadable data on aging in Asia
  • Policy lessons learned in Japan and other countries where aging is already advanced
  • Examples of innovative products, services, and programs to deal with aging-related issues
  • Information on research and dialogues supported by AHWIN

Website - AHWIN

Press release - JCIE

Japan Global health

Japan announces ¥240 million in food assistance for The Gambia

Japan has announced it will provide ¥240 million (US$2 million) in food support to The Gambia in the form of almost 3,800 tons of rice. The Gambia suffered from severe droughts in 2017 and 2018, which reduced crop production and left approximately 350,000 people without enough to eat. The support is intended to strengthen food security in the country and provide nutrition to the population.

The contribution forms part of Japan’s commitment at the 2016 Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) to promote food security in Africa.

Press release – MOFA (in Japanese)

Japan Nutrition

Canada participates in inaugural meeting of trans-Pacific trade partnership in Japan

Jim Carr, Canada's Minister of International Trade Diversification, participated in the inaugural meeting of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in Tokyo, Japan. Canada is keen on securing opportunities for exporting its goods to fast-growing markets in the Asia-Pacific region, with particular emphasis on promoting Canadian beef. It is the hope of the Canadian government that the partnership will lead to economic growth and secure, well-paying jobs for Canadian workers.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Canada Japan

JICA announces disaster recovery project in Sulawesi, Indonesia

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Indonesia have signed an agreement for the development of regional disaster risk resilience plan in Central Sulawesi, following the devastating earthquake that struck the region in September 2018. The plan aims to promote appropriate and efficient reconstruction projects and develop infrastructure and communities that are more disaster-resilient.

Press release - JICA

Japan

Japanese foreign minister recommends that ODA becomes more accessible to NGOs

In a newspaper interview, Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs, Taro Kono, shared his views on a recent report on Japan's official development assistance (ODA) and development policy, which said that Japan's ODA levels have halved from the peak of ¥1.2 trillion (US$11 billion) in 1997 to ¥559 billion (US$5.1 billion) in 2018. According to Kono, the Japan International Cooperation Organization (JICA) has historically been the main implementer of ODA, but Japan would benefit from the ODA budget becoming more open to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as well as a more competitive selection process for implementing partners. Furthermore, Kono sees "donor fatigue" as a serious issue—although there is no fiscal room to increase ODA in Japan without an "innovative financing scheme" to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Japanese)

Japan