Dispatch of Observers to and Emergency Grant Aid for Presidential Recall Referendum in Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

August 10, 2004

  1. The Government of Japan has decided to dispatch observers (two experts on the Andes region) for the presidential recall referendum to be held on August 15 (Sun) in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. As members of the OAS (Organization of American States) observer mission, the observers from Japan will participate in observing the referendum and ballot counting.

  2. The Government of Japan also decided on August 10 (Tue) to extend emergency grant aid of approximately 47,000 dollars (about 5.17 million yen) to the OAS.

  3. The forthcoming referendum in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela will be implemented on the basis of an agreement reached in May last year between the government and the opposition to solve the country's political impasse, which started in February 2002, by legal procedures rather than by acts of violence.
    Ensuring smooth and fair implementation of the presidential recall referendum is extremely important from the viewpoint of stability in the country, and the international community is also attentively following the referendum.

  4. Against such a background, the OAS has decided to dispatch an observation mission to assure transparency and impartiality in the referendum and has requested Japanese assistance for necessary expenses.

  5. Japan has urged the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on a number of occasions, such as through statements by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, to solve its political impasse as soon as possible in a manner respecting constitutionality, democracy and human rights. In February this year, Japan made a contribution to solving the crisis by providing machines, including computers, for the OAS Caracas office (3,940,660 yen grassroots human security grant aid) to support its referendum process in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

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