Statement by Mr. Koichi Takemasa
State Secretary for Foreign Affairs
at the Ministerial Conference on Haiti

January 25, 2010

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Before I begin, I would like to join my colleagues in applauding the Government of Canada for their initiative and leadership in organizing this Conference.

On behalf of the Government of Japan, I send my deepest sympathy to the Government and people of Haiti and to the many UN workers stationed there and their families, including the staff and troops of MINUSTAH. I pray that the day will come as early as possible when those affected by the earthquake can return to their daily routine.

The earthquake struck just as efforts for improved security were bearing fruit in Haiti and its government and people were beginning to work towards national reconstruction. I am deeply saddened that this devastating earthquake resulted in so many tragic casualties and left many Haitian citizens to live in so much anxiety. As we try and stabilize the situation in Haiti, it is imperative for the international community, including Japan, who is working alongside the UN which is coordinating relief efforts, to get the aid as quickly as possible to the people in need.

First and foremost, Japan is ready to deploy an engineering unit to MINUSTAH, and registered today its intention to the Secretariat of United Nations. In addition, to assist the Haitians stricken by the earthquake, Japan is ready to extend grant assistance worth up to roughly 70 million US dollars. This assistance consists of two parts: emergency aid and reconstruction.

As the emergency aid, Japan has been implementing four different types of aid for humanitarian reasons and in light of Japan's friendship with Haiti. They are:

  1. Emergency grant aid totaling up to 5 million US dollars;
  2. Emergency relief goods equivalent to approximately 300 thousand US dollars;
  3. Medical services in the city of Leogane, provided by the medical team of the Japan Disaster Relief Team and Japanese Self-Defense Forces personnel;
  4. Grants to support NGO activities totaling up to 1 million US dollars.

On top of these existing 5 million US dollar emergency grants, I am announcing here today, Japan's decision to provide additional grant aid worth nearly 20 million US dollars. Disbursement of this aid will be implemented in the areas of food, water supply, medicine and sanitation.

For the reconstruction stage, Japan will extend its assistance including in the field of earthquake-proof technologies and architectures by mobilizing Japan's expertise as a country that has lived through major earthquakes. My esteemed colleagues might recall that Japan has been a strong proponent of human security. What is necessary for Haiti is the assistance from this point of view. Japan has long been contributing to Haiti's nation-building efforts, by focusing its assistance primarily on the basic needs of the Haitian citizens such as food and medicine.

As the situation develops and the reconstruction phase kicks in, Japan is prepared to further provide assistance of roughly 45 million US dollars out of the 70 million US dollars that I previously mentioned, depending on the local needs during that phase. To that end, Japan will join the survey missions that are being organized by relevant international organizations to assess the Haitian reconstruction assistance needs. During these survey missions, Japan will look into the possibility of utilizing Japan's own experience and expertise in areas such as disaster risk reduction and medicine.

Now, the international community must reach out to the Haitian citizens facing so much uncertainty and provide them with hope as they begin their recovery. Both the Japanese government and her people have been joining the efforts to help Haiti. With our vast experience of recovering from earthquakes, Japan, as a friend of Haiti and also with our responsibility as a Security Council member, will continue to extend all our possible support to Haiti.

Thank you.

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