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Last Update : Friday, Jun 26, 2015

JapanGov Weekly

[Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan] [Wednesday, Jun 17, 2015]

Japan-Croatia Summit Meeting

1. Japan-Croatia Summit Meeting

On June 17, commencing at 6:10 p.m. for approximately 40 minutes, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a summit meeting with H.E. Mr. Zoran Milanović, Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia, during his working visit to Japan.

After welcoming Prime Minister Milanović as the first Croatian Prime Minister to visit Japan, Prime Minister Abe stated that he expressed his respect to Croatia, for overcoming the ethnic conflict at the time of independence, for making progress of reconstruction and ethnic reconciliation after the war, and for realizing EU accession two years ago. Subjects such as the bilateral relationship, Japan-EU Cooperation and Japan’s policy of “Proactive Contribution to Peace,” were discussed.

(1) The Bilateral Relationship

Prime Minister Abe stated that, triggered by EU accession, Japanese business’s interest in Croatia is growing and expressed his anticipation of reaching concrete achievements in the economic sphere through this Prime Minister Milanović’s visit.

In addition, Prime Minister Abe stated that the number of Japanese tourist in Croatia has increased substantially, and welcomed the expansion of such exchange.

In response, Prime Minister Milanović said that in Croatia there is a large ongoing investment in the energy sector by a Japanese enterprise for the first time, and expressed his expectation that this project would become a benchmark for the future Japanese investments.

(2) Japan-EU Cooperation

The two leaders confirmed to cooperate in order to reach an agreement in principle on the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) ( by the end of this year, and the early conclusion of Strategic Partnership Agreement.

(3) Japan’s policy of Proactive Contribution to Peace

Prime Minister Abe explained that with its stance of the policy of ‘Proactive Contribution to Peace’ (, Japan will contribute even more actively to the peace and stability of the region and international society.

In response, Prime Minister Milanović extended his understanding and support to Japan’s policy of ‘Proactive Contribution to Peace,’ and went on to express his anticipation of Japan’s further leadership in the international community.

2. Joint Press Occasion and Dinner

(1) Following the summit meeting, the two Prime Ministers attended a joint press occasion.

(2) Thereafter, Prime Minister Abe hosted a dinner in a very friendly atmosphere, where the two leaders exchanged their views on a wide range of bilateral topics, including further deepening of economic ties and cultural aspects.

[Japan International Cooperation Agency] [Friday, Jun 26, 2015]

Singing of Loan Agreement for the Emergency Life Saving Center Development Project in the Kingdom of Cambodia under the Private Sector Investment Finance (PSIF) scheme

On June 25, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a loan agreement for project finance for the Emergency Life Saving Center Development Project with Sunrise Healthcare Service Co., Ltd. (SHS), a Cambodian company invested by JGC Corporation, Innovation Network Corporation of Japan and Kitahara Medical Strategies International.

Under this project, SHS will establish and operate the Sunrise Japan Hospital Phnom Penh, a private hospital equipped with an emergency life saving center in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, to provide medical services based on Japanese technology and expertise, thereby improving the medical level in Cambodia. JICA will provide the funding required for SHS to carry out this project.

In Cambodia, lifestyle diseases are increasing as social environment changes because of the rapid economic growth in recent years. Emergency treatment is particularly in need for patients with strokes, which are deeply related to lifestyle diseases, but the level of neurosurgery in Cambodia is not currently adequate to do so. With the rapid increase in automobiles and scooters in recent years, the number of traffic accidents has risen, but the emergency medical system is not sufficiently prepared to provide the treatment required for accident victims. Given these circumstances, this project will provide a high level of medical services, primarily with Japanese doctors and nurses, raising the standard of emergency and advanced medical care in Cambodia.

This is the first project finance through JICA private sector investment finance, and Sumitomo Mitsui Baking Corporation is appointed as the facility agent. In addition to the financing for this project, JICA will provide technical cooperation to support training for Cambodian doctors, nurses and other medical staff in Kitahara International Hospital in Hachioji, Tokyo, until the new hospital opens.

Outstanding Japanese medical technology will be applied to this project in addition to the construction of the hospital facilities, and because human resource development for the local hospital staff will be integrated, this project is an example of high-quality infrastructure investment.

Going forward, JICA will, as a development finance institution, proactively use private sector investment finance and combine technical cooperation to improve the medical level in developing countries, as well as support further utilization of Japanese healthcare technologies.

[Japan International Cooperation Agency] [Wednesday, Jun 24, 2015]

Signing of Grant Agreement with Bangladesh

On June 24, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a Grant Agreement (G/A) with the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh to provide up to 2.881 billion yen for the Project for Improvement of Meteorological Radar System in Dhaka and Rangpur.

The project will support the upgrade of meteorological radar systems, including facilities and equipment, and the construction of radar towers on the outskirts of Dhaka and in Rangpur.

Bangladesh is located on a delta formed by three rivers—the Ganges, the Brahmaputra, and the Meghna—whose headwaters lie in one of the wettest regions on the planet. The country’s coastal areas lie along the Bay of Bengal, which suffers from frequent cyclones. These geographical characteristics make the country prone to repeated flooding, tropical storms, and other natural disasters; in 1991, nearly 140,000 people lost their lives to a cyclone, while the 2004 floods did an estimated 220.0 billion yen worth of damage. In addition to basing weather forecasts on data collected through ground observations, upper-air observations, and meteorological radar measurements, the Bangladesh Meteorological Department is working with disaster preparedness agencies such as the Flood Forecasting and Warning Center and the Disaster Management Office to provide and communicate critical flood forecasting information to related government agencies and the media. There are five meteorological radar systems located throughout the country, two being conventional radar systems installed in Dhaka and Rangpur. In operation for nearly fifteen years, those two radar systems suffer from deterioration, resulting in shutdowns due to breakdowns, decreased measurement accuracy, electromagnetic interference caused by environmental changes stemming from advancing urbanization, and other impediments to meteorological observation and forecasting work. The Dhaka radar system is responsible for measurements covering the capital region as well as nearly all of the nation’s territory, while the Rangpur radar system plays the critical role of watching for rainfall in neighboring India and storms moving in from the northwest. It is important that these stations continue to reliably provide weather observations and forecasting information.

Since 2005, JICA has supported upgrades to meteorological radar systems in Bangladesh from conventional systems to Doppler systems through the Project for the Improvement of the Meteorological Radar System at Cox's Bazar and Khepupara and the Project for the Establishment of the Meteorological Radar System at Moulvibazar. This project will convert all meteorological radar systems into Doppler systems. The change is expected to improve measurement capacity in terms of wind direction, wind speed, and rainfall intensity, and provide more accurate warning information and early communications, which will in turn improve the measurement capacity for the nation as a whole. Ultimately, the upgrades are expected to reduce the damage Bangladesh suffers from cyclones and other severe weather patterns as well as from floods by supporting the timely initiation of disaster response initiatives, evacuation support, and other such measures.

Finally, in addition to financial assistance, JICA implemented the technical cooperation project Development of Human Capacity on Operation of Weather Analysis and Forecasting between September 2009 and December 2013 for the purpose of boosting the meteorological capacity at the Bangladesh Meteorological Department. The technical personnel who receive training over the course of that project will handling the information from the Doppler radars set up during the current project, which is expected to result in more effective meteorological observations and forecasting work.

[Japan International Cooperation Agency] [Friday, Jun 19, 2015]

Signing of Grant Aid Agreement with Pakistan

On June 18, 2015, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed two grant agreements (G/A) with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to provide grant aid of up to 4.17 billion yen for the Project for Energy Saving in Water Supply System in Lahore and the Project for replacement of pumping machinery at inline booster pump station and terminal reservoir in Faisalabad.

These cooperation initiatives will supply safe water to urban areas of Pakistan where the rapid rise in population is putting immense pressure on the existing urban water and sewerage infrastructure.

The projects under the grant agreements are described below.

(1) The Project for Energy Saving in Water Supply System in Lahore (grant amount: 2.554 billion yen)

The pumping capacity of many of the tube wells in Lahore, Punjab Province, has dropped significantly due to deteriorating pumps and other factors, resulting in inefficient energy use when pumping water. In addition, due to the effects of rising power rates and the like in recent years, the cost of the power for pumping water reached approximately 45 percent of the operating costs in 2012, putting a significant financial burden on the Lahore Water and Sanitation Agency. The stable operation of the water supply and sewerage system requires fiscal improvements in the Lahore Water and Sanitation Agency, and cutting power costs is a priority area for such fiscal improvements.

With the objective of achieving a sustainable, stable water supply service, this project will update deteriorated tube wells in Lahore, restoring the well capacity that has dropped, and improving the energy efficiency of the water supply equipment. It is expected that the power consumption of well pumps will become more efficient, more water will be transported from the target wells, and the number of pump malfunctions will drop, reducing operation and maintenance costs.

(2) The Project for Replacement of Pumping Machinery at Inline Booster Pump Station and Terminal Reservoir in Faisalabad (grant amount: 1.616 billion yen)

Approximately 55 percent of the amount of water supplied to Faisalabad, Punjab Province, is reliant on the Chenab River watershed, but as more than twenty years have passed since installation of the core water supply facilities, factors such as deterioration of the booster pumps at the inline booster pump station mean that the entire capacity of the water source wells cannot be utilized in transporting water. In addition, pump failures occur on a frequent basis at the terminal reservoir, which not only reduces the stability of the water supply service, but also results in an inefficient use of energy by the pumps in water transportation and distribution, causing an increase in the costs associated with the energy consumption for pump operation. The rise in power rates in recent years has caused a strain on the finances of the Faisalabad Water and Sanitation Agency, and in 2013, the power expenses for pumping water reached approximately 29 percent of the operating costs. Given these circumstances, updating the pump equipment, stabilizing operation of the current facilities with the problem of deteriorated equipment resolved, efficiently using energy to reduce water transportation costs, and improving the operating conditions are priorities.

With respect to the water distribution reservoir of the Chenab River watershed, as the water intake volume increases with the vertical distance between the transportation pump installation location and the reservoir water level, and there is a design issue in which cavitation occurs when water stored in the lower half of the distribution reservoir is used, the water demand during the peak use period each day cannot be met when the distribution reservoir is half full. In addition, there is a loss of approximately 600 cubic meters of reservoir water per day due to factors such as leaks in the terminal reservoir wall caused by deterioration, and addressing this issue is a priority.

This project will update the inline booster pump station at the water supply facilities using Chenab wells as their source, as well as updating the pumps at the terminal reservoir in Faisalabad, stabilizing facility operation, making energy consumption more efficient and reducing water transportation costs, thereby achieving the objective of a sustainable, stable water supply system.

In addition to these projects, JICA is combining technical cooperation to improve management and develop human resources at five water and sewerage companies in Punjab Province, thereby providing support toward achieving sustainable stable water supply services in Pakistan.