Japan committed $6 billion to Mekong region countries at 7th Mekong-Japan Summit in Tokyo

Jul 6, 2015 17:17 IST

Japan on 4 July 2015 committed 6.1 billion US dollars (750 billion Japanese Yen) in Official Development Assistance (ODA) to Mekong Region countries for the next three years. The decision was taken by Japan during the seventh Mekong-Japan Summit held in Tokyo.

The decision to provide the development aid to Mekong countries was taken in line with the Development Cooperation Charter approved by the Japan’s Cabinet in February 2015. The Mekong region countries include Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

The aid of 6 billion US dollars was part of the New Tokyo Strategy 2015 for Mekong-Japan Cooperation (MJC2015) that was adopted as a new strategy for Mekong-Japan Cooperation in the next three years.

The new strategy for Mekong-Japan cooperation will be based on the four pillars of

• Strengthening Hard Connectivity (land/maritime/air Connectivity)
• Strengthening Soft Connectivity through advancing industrial structures and human resource development
• Sustainable Development towards the Realization of a Green Mekong, and
• Coordination with Various Stakeholders

Besides, Mekong region countries supported Japan’s proposal to designate November 5 as World Tsunami Day with an aim to raise awareness of the importance of tsunami disaster prevention and deepening common understanding of tsunamis.

Comment

The decision to provide development aid to Mekong region countries comes at a time when China is making an all out effort to expand the membership of its initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) that on 29 June 2015 saw the signing of article of agreement by 50 countries. AIIB seems to be encroaching on the regional clout of Tokyo and ally Washington.

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