Dispatch of Japanese Experts to Participate in Mine-clearing Activities in Afghanistan

August 2003

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. From 2002 Japan has dispatched three personnel to the UN Mine Action Center for Afghanistan (MACA).

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