Japan and United States Clear Unexploded Ordnance in Laos
December 19, 2014
1. In the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, a large number of bombs dropped during the Indochina Wars still remain unexploded throughout the country, hindering the country’s economic and social development. Against this backdrop, Japan and the United States will contribute to clearing unexploded ordnance (UXO) in Laos and will keep each other informed of their progress as part of the Japan-U.S. cooperation for the clearance of landmines and UXO in Southeast Asia.
2. Specifically, Japan has decided to provide necessary assistance (e.g. support for personnel costs) of up to 705,242 U.S. dollars for the UXO clearance operations underway in Champasack and Saravane provinces in the southern part of Laos. The United States is also providing financial assistance for the UXO clearance operations in southern Laos.
3. It is expected that this assistance will reduce the number of casualties caused by UXO, secure the safety of land, and promote effective utilization of land for food production and other social and economic development projects.
4. Japan will continue to support UXO clearance in Laos in cooperation with the United States and other donors as appropriate.
[Reference 1] “Fact Sheet: U.S.-Japan Global and Regional Cooperation” (extract)
(It was released when President Barack Obama visited Japan in April this year.)
Cooperating Together with Southeast Asia
The United States and Japan share the view that landmines and unexploded ordnance in Southeast Asia are not only a humanitarian issue, but also impede the maintenance of peace and stability and hinder development efforts. Both countries reaffirmed their intention to strengthen cooperation on addressing this issue and support regional cooperation through multilateral fora, such as ASEAN.
On 11 November 2014, a grant contract of Grant Assistance for Grass-roots Human Security Projects (The Project for Support to the Operations of the Lao National Unexploded Ordnance Programme (UXO Lao) in Champasack and Saravane Province, Lao PDR) (up to 705,242 US dollars) was signed between H.E. Mr. Hiroyuki KISHINO, Ambassador of Japan to the Lao PDR and Mr. Thiphasone SOUKHATHAMMAVONG, Director of the Lao National Unexploded Ordnance (UXO Lao).
[Reference 3] Basic data of Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Area: 236,800 km2, Population: 6.65 milion (2012),GNI per capita:1,270 (World Bank, 2012)