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Partial Transfer of Equipment on the Occasion of the Changeover of SDF Troops in UN Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET)
February 3, 2004
- The Government of Japan decided to transfer some of the equipment (road construction equipment) used by the Third Self Defense Force (SDF) Engineer Group that have dispatched to the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET), to the Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. An exchange of notes to this effect took place in Dili on Tuesday, February 3, between Mr. Hideaki Asahi, Ambassador of Japan to Timor-Leste and Dr. Maria Madalena Brites Boavida, Minister of Planning and Finance of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, in the presence of Mr. Ichiro Aisawa, Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan and Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.
- The road construction equipment will be transferred due to the reduction in the number of personnel, which took place at the time a changeover was conducted between the Third SDF Engineer Group and the Fourth SDF Engineer Group in October 2003. Among the materials and equipment used by the Third SDF Engineer Group, the road construction equipment (materials and equipment such as prefabricated houses have been transferred in October 2002) will be transferred based on a request from the Government of Timor-Leste as part of Japan's assistance for self-help efforts of Timor-Leste, and the Government of Timor-Leste plans to use it for its own economic and social development.
- This reduction in personnel was conducted as part of the reduction in personnel aimed at the conclusion of UNMISET operations in May 2004, and the number of dispatched personnel has been reduced from 522 to 405. Japan has dispatched seven personnel to the UNMISET Headquarters.
- The United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET) was established on 20 May 2002 as a successor mission to the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) to provide assistance to nation-building in Timor-Leste. The dispatch of SDF personnel to the UN peacekeeping operations (PKO) in Timor-Leste started in February 2002.
- In addition to maintaining and repairing roads and bridges necessary to peacekeeping operations, SDF Engineer Groups have carried out civil assistance (performing duties to improve citizens' daily lives in response to requests of local residents and under the instruction of UNMISET Headquarters.). Their contribution to nation-building in Timor-Leste has received high praise from the UN and from citizens and government officials of Timor-Leste.
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