Statement by Mr. Yoshinobu Hiraishi
Head of the Delegation of Japan
The Eighth Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction
Dead Sea, Jordan, 18 November 2007
Allow me to congratulate you on your assumption of the Presidency of the Eighth Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction. Japan is confident that under your able guidance, we will be able to make the Dead Sea Meeting a successful one. Let me assure you, Mr. President, of my delegation's utmost support as you undertake this task.
Based on Japan's new policy on mine action, announced at the First Review Conference to the Ottawa Convention in 2004, the Government of Japan aims to carry out its support for mine action on a similar scale to the previous assistance until 2009. Japan's policy proclaims that mine action assistance will be provided according to the following three principles:
- Contribution to peace building;
- Emphasis on the perspective of human security; and
- Strengthen cooperation between the government, NGOs, the private sector and academia as a part of technology development
The Government of Japan has been contributing 38 million US dollars on average to mine action projects each year since announcing its new policy on mine action in 2004. Moreover, taking into account that between 1998 and 2004 Japan's average annual contribution was approximately 23 million US dollars, by in large there has been a sizable growth in support. Furthermore, in recent years the amount of assistance has been maintaining a general upward trend, and in particular, in 2006 the Government of Japan provided 40 million US dollars in actual assistance, the highest amount since signing the Ottawa Convention.
Based on the aforementioned three principles, since the Seventh Meeting of States Parties last year the Government of Japan has been undertaking the following concrete activities:
In relation to contributions to peace consolidation, in December 2006 the Government of Japan through Grant Aid for Conflict Prevention and Peace Building made a grant of approximately four million US Dollars to the Government of Angola to support the strengthening of the technical and operational capacity of the National Institute for Demining (INAD) throughout Angola.
In relation to emphasis on human security, in July 2007 the Government of Japan decided to extend assistance, through the UN Trust Fund for Human Security, to a project entitled "Community Reconciliation through Poverty Reduction", which includes mine clearance activities in approximately 180,000 square meters of land to be used for income generating purposes. Additionally, the Government of Japan signed in New York on 28 September "the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities".
In relation to cooperation between governments, NGOs, the private sector and academia as a part of technology development, the Government of Japan supplied to NGOs on the ground this year the Japanese manufactured mine clearance machines that we field-tested in Afghanistan in 2004 and improved. Moreover, the civil society plays an immense role towards the resolution of the landmine problem, and the Government of Japan proactively assists mine action activities by NGOs.
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