Japan To Tap Foreign Aid Funds

Japan to tap foreign aid fundsJapan plans to tap its foreign aid funds to simultaneously help rebuild areas in northeastern Japan hit by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, a draft policy document on the nation's international cooperation showed Sunday.




It says the budget for official development assistance programs can be used, for example, to buy processed seafood products from the stricken region to provide them to developing countries.

Due to the ongoing crisis at the tsunami-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, such fishery products should be tested for radioactive contamination before being sent as aid to other countries, according to the draft.

The plan is stipulated in the nation's international cooperation policy for fiscal 2011, to be formalized Monday, along with other measures to help prevent the spread of rumors about tainted food from Japan. A plan to accept many foreign trainees in the stricken areas will also be included.

The ODA policy comes at a time when some are arguing that Japan should cut foreign aid spending and prioritize reconstruction at home.

Some of the costs of the measures in the policy document are expected to be included in a third supplementary budget for the fiscal year ending next March.

The policy also stipulates a plan to set up an international base to bolster tsunami-prevention measures and suggests the government will aim to facilitate legislation and the development of human resources overseas to promote Japan's quake-proof construction standards.

Under the policy, Japan intends to provide a total of 1,377.5 billion yen of assistance, including yen loans, with Asia being the largest recipient of aid totaling 865 billion yen.

The document also showed that Japan will follow up on plans to double its aid to Africa and provide up to $5 billion in assistance to Afghanistan over five years.




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