Dispatch of Japanese Experts to Participate in Mine-clearing Activities in Afghanistan
- In order to accelerate the mine-clearing program in Afghanistan, the Government of Japan has decided to dispatch two Japanese mine-clearing experts to work with the international non-governmental organization (NGO) (Danish Demining Group (DDG)) which is now working in Afghanistan.
- The two persons to be dispatched are Mr. Hiroaki Sonobe and Mr. Hidematsu Koga of the Japan Mine Action Service (JMAS) (ex-members of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF)). They will leave Japan on 12 August and arrive in Afghanistan next day, and will be engaged in mine-clearing activities around Kabul for about one month. They will utilize their experience in working in the Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) and provide expert advice at the mine-clearing sites concerning clearance of mines and other unexploded ordnance.
- This is the first occasion for Japanese NGOs to be involved in mine-clearing activities in Afghanistan and, through such activities, Japan will make a visible contribution to mine-clearing activities in Afghanistan.
Reference: Major anti-landmine programs provided from Japan to Afghanistan
- In January 2002, as a part of assistance for refugees and displaced persons in Afghanistan, Japan provided approximately US$19.22 million in total to international organizations such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to be used for anti-landmine measures.
- In October 2002, Japan provided a total of US$4.86 million, as part of the Ogata Initiative, to the UNDP for three areas of mine-clearing, assistance for landmine victims, and mine awareness education activities. In March 2003, Japan provided a total of US$3.78 million to the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) for a program to employ former combatants in the clearing of mines.
- From 2002 Japan has dispatched three personnel to the UN Mine Action Center for Afghanistan (MACA).
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