Japan and FAO review and recommit to partnership through annual consultation in Tokyo

The government of Japan and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reviewed and recommitted to their partnership during their Annual Strategic Consultation held in Tokyo on January 21, 2020. The consultation, which has been taking place annually since 2017, focused this year on collaborations in nutrition, technological innovations in agriculture, agriculture for economic development in Africa, and private sector engagement, among other topics.

A major focus of the consultation was collaboration around the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit (N4G) planned for December 2020. FAO has been involved as a co-lead of the Working Group on Food Systems and as part of the Advisory Group for the summit. FAO placed an emphasis in the discussion on connecting the outcomes of N4G into the upcoming UN Food Systems Summit in 2021.

As part of the consultation, the two parties also released the latest 'FAO + Japan' report, which outlines Japan’s financial, expertise, and human capital contributions as an FAO partner. According to the report, Japan made total assessed and voluntary contributions of US$81 million to FAO in 2019, a decrease of US$3 million in voluntary contributions from 2018. In line with Japan's general development cooperation policies, Asia was the largest focus of contributions during the 2018-2019 period, with 46% of Japan's contributions to FAO going to projects in the region.

Press release - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Report - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Japan Agriculture Nutrition

Japan to provide US$1.1 billion in ODA loans to Myanmar for infrastructure projects

Japan has announced that it will provide ¥120.9 billion (US$1.1 billion) in official development assistance (ODA) loans to finance four infrastructure projects in Myanmar. 

The ODA loans include:

  • ¥45.9 billion (US$421 million) to the Yangon Sewerage System Development Project, which will increase sewage treatment capacity by up to seven times by 2030;
  • ¥24.1 billion (US$221 million) to the Strategic Urban Development Plan of Greater Yangon, fixing and improving about one-third of the main drainage channels, and implementing measures to prevent traffic congestion and improve traffic safety;
  • ¥12.3 billion (US$113 million) to the Urban Area Power Distribution Improvement Project, improving the distribution loss rate by 1% in several cities and preventing power outages due to overcapacity in electric power distribution facilities; and
  • ¥38.6 billion (US$354 million) to the Project for Rural Infrastructure Development in Local Areas, implementing 70 subprojects (35 for roads and bridges, 25 for electric power, 10 for water supply) in the Mon State, Kayin State, and Tanintharyi Region.

The repayment period will be over 40 years with an annual interest rate of 0.01%.

Press release – Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Japanese)


Japan strengthens education partnerships in Kenya to support science, technology, innovation in Africa at large

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Headquarters Senior Vice President, Dr. Nobuko Kayashima, reinforced Japan's support for the development of human resources in science, technology, and innovation (STI) in Africa and for advancing partnerships between Kenya and Japan. The announcement was made during a visit to the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT). Kayashima noted that previous collaborations have strengthened the linkage between academia and industry, and expressed support for further partnerships that connect the two sectors.

Through the 'African Union-African Innovation-JKUAT and PAUSTI Network' (AFRICA-ai-JAPAN) project, Japan and JKUAT have worked together to strengthen STI in Africa. The initiative has made JKUAT a top-class university in the region, especially in agriculture, science, and engineering.

Press release – Standard Digital

Japan Agriculture Education

Japan to host Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit in 2020

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that Japan will host the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit in December 2020, following the Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo. This is in keeping with the trend started after the London Olympics in 2012 and continued after the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.

The 2020 summit will stress the double burden of malnutrition, which relates to the existence of both over- and undernutrition simultaneously within individuals, households, countries, or other populations. The event will also aim to contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through a number of methods including:

  • Integrating nutrition into universal health coverage;
  • Building a healthy and sustainable food system;
  • Measuring against malnutrition in fragile or conflict situations; and
  • Securing financial reforms to improve nutrition.

In preparation for the Tokyo Nutrition Summit 2020, the Japanese government intends to collect information on Japan’s nutrition policy and future direction, as well as data on furthering international contributions to nutrition.

In addition to serving as the host country for the summit, the Japanese government has allocated ¥81 million (US$736,000) for sharing technical information with industry, academia, and government officials; ¥46 million (US$418,000) for researching and analyzing the nutrition policies of various countries; and ¥5 million (US$45,000) for setting up project headquarters to promote an enabling environment for healthy living.

Press release – Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (in Japanese)

Global Japan Nutrition

Japan announces US$3 million to UNICEF’s emergency response for children in northeast Syria

Japan has announced US$3 million in support to UNICEF's emergency response fund for vulnerable children and families in northeast Syria. Due to the escalation of the conflict in the region since October 2019, new waves of displacement have aggravated the needs of an estimated 2 million people in the affected area.

The funding will serve populations including families in camps, collective shelters, and host communities through improved water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services. Safe access to water in camps and collective shelters will be provided through emergency water trucking, as well as through more latrines, water points, and hygiene supplies. In urban centers, the contribution will be used to repair damaged infrastructure and restore interrupted services.

As part of the announcement, Mr. Akira Endo, Special Coordinator for Syria and Chargé d’Affaires at the Embassy of Japan in Syria, declared Japan’s continued commitment to supporting children and families in Syria.

Press release – UNICEF


Japanese delegation visits Cambodia to continue assistance with ongoing mine removal efforts

In an effort to better understand efforts towards mine action in Cambodia, members of the Japan-Cambodia Parliamentary Friendship Association conducted an official visit to Cambodia in January 2019. During the visit, Chairman Imamura Masahiro led a delegation to the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC), one of the organizations at the forefront of the fight to remove live mines which remain in the ground from past conflicts.

The Government of Japan has previously assisted CMAC with technical assistance and grants worth more than US$70 million, in addition to US$50 million in other non-monetary contributions.

During the visit, Chairman Masahiro reinforced Japan’s continued commitment to supporting development in Cambodia, including but not restricted to  mine action.

Press release – Cambodian Mine Action Centre


Japan supports Philippines in launching a relapse-prevention program for drug users

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Philippine’s Department of Health (DoH) have launched a project to train health professionals with the objective of strengthening treatment and rehabilitation practices.  The training includes a new program  called 'Intensive Treatment and Rehabilitation Program for Residential Treatement and Rehabilitation Centers’ (INREPRET), which features various treatment methods such as cognitive behavioral therapy, social support, psycho-education, and self-help treatments. JICA have also committed ¥1.85 billion ($US16.8 million) for building a treatment and rehabilitation center.

According to the Dangerous Drug Board, half (50.1%) of drug dependant people in the Philippines, are unemployed and roughly a quarter (33%) of the 3,000 people recovering from drug addiction have little to no income. 

New Release – BusinessWorld


Japan contributes US$12 million for food, sanitation, and education for Palestine refugees

Japan has signed two contribution agreements worth approximately US$12 million to provide funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

The first contribution of US$6 million to the Social Security Net Program (SSNP) will be used to provide food assistance to 98,000 Palestine refugees in Gaza. The second contribution of US$6 million will be used for two infrastructure projects: the construction of a school that will give access to quality education for 1,000 students in Gaza, and a sewage system in the Ein el-Sultan camp in the West Bank.

Press release - UNRWA


Japan supports ophthalmology workshop in India

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) supported a workshop on 'Medical Equipment for Amblyopia Treatment in Children' to facilitate the adoption of technical and medical best-practices of ophthalmology in India.

Amblyopia is a vision development disorder in which the visual cortex stops growing at around 8 years of age. Around 3% of newborn babies develop amblyopia, irrespectively of race or nationality.

New article – Business Wire India

Japan Global health

Japan provides US$5 million in food assistance to Democratic Republic of Congo

Japan has announced ¥500 million (US$5 million) in food assistance for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). These funds, in combination with assistance from the US, will provide approximately 8,200 tons of food to the DRC, improving food security.

This initiateive is in accordance with Japan's objective of contributing to the creation of a strong and sustainable society, as was reaffirmed at the seventh TICAD Conference (TICAD7) in August 2019.

Press release – MOFA (in Japanese)