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Last Update : Monday, Dec 5, 2016

International Cooperation

JapanGov Weekly

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan [Tuesday, Nov 29, 2016]

Japan and the UK hold Joint Workshop in Vietnam: “Navigating Towards the Free and Open Seas of Asia: The Rule of Law and International Cooperation”

1. On 29 November, Embassy of Japan in Vietnam, British Embassy in Hanoi, and the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam held a joint workshop in Hanoi, Vietnam, having 90 participants, entitled “Navigating Towards the Free and Open Seas of Asia: The Rule of Law and International Cooperation.”

2. The workshop analyzed the impact of July’s award in the arbitration between the Philippines and China regarding the South China Sea; shared practice on how international law had been applied among Asian countries in the past; and explored possible forms of cooperation to respect and promote the rule of law.

3. The experts participating from Japan were Foreign Press Secretary Yasuhisa Kawamura from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Professor Shotaro Hamamoto from Kyoto University’s Graduate School of Law; the UK experts were Commander Ian Park of the International Law Division of the Ministry of Defence and James Farrant, Maritime Legal Adviser at the Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre, Ministry of Defence; and the Vietnamese participants were Ha Anh Tuan, Director of Center for Policy Research, Bien Dong Maritime Institute, Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam and Nguyen Dang Thang, Member of the Vietnam Society of International Law for Vietnam.

4. Around 90 attendees from the Vietnamese government, the academic and diplomatic communities took part in the workshop, leading to an active discussion involving both audience and speakers. This discussion demonstrated a shared understanding of the importance of the rule of law for preserving peace and stability on Asia’s seas including the South and East China Seas.

5. During the closing session of the workshop, Foreign Press Secretary Kawamura gave a speech to confirm the importance of the sea in Asia, as well as to emphasize the importance of upholding the rule of law and having international public opinion united in demonstrating the importance of the rule of law.

6. This collaboration has been realized as part of the concrete efforts to explore Japan-UK joint cooperation projects in Southeast Asia , as agreed at the Second Japan-UK Foreign and Defence Ministers’ Meeting (“2+2”) in January 2016. Japan and the UK have shared common values including the rule of law, and have responsibilities towards international peace and security. Japan and the UK are each other’s closest security partners in Asia and Europe respectively. The two countries continue their close, global partnership in tackling international issues, including with Vietnam.

Japan International Cooperation Agency [Wednesday, Nov 30, 2016]

Signing of Grant Agreement with Cambodia: Strengthening the transportation capacity and improving traffic through public bus procurement

On November 30, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a grant agreement (G/A) with the Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia in Phnom Penh, the capital city, to provide grant aid of up to 1.396 billion yen for The Project for Improvement of Transportation Capacity of Public Bus in Phnom Penh.
This project will procure public buses for use in Phnom Penh where traffic congestion has become a serious challenge.

With the economic development and rapid urbanization of recent years, the number of registered automobiles has increased in Phnom Penh, resulting in serious traffic congestion and a worsening urban environment. The population, which has also been growing, is predicted to reach 2.87 million people in 2035, 1.7 times the population of 2013. Given that there are a large number of deaths being caused by traffic accidents and that rising incomes are expected to boost the number of vehicles even further, sweeping traffic measures need to be formulated and implemented.

In September 2014, Phnom Penh established Phnom Penh City Bus Authority to manage the city’s public bus routes, but the fare rates were set low, restricting revenue and causing budgetary constraints to the extent that an adequate number of buses cannot be procured. As a result, bus transportation has not replaced automobiles and scooters, and there has been no improvement in the traffic congestion. In order to develop a safe, convenient public bus network that eliminates congestion, Phnom Penh aims to create 10 bus routes by 2020, and procuring buses for those new bus routes is a priority.

Implementation of this project is expected to increase the public transportation capacity, improving the traffic conditions in the target region. In combination with this project, JICA is providing technical cooperation to strengthen the operation and management system at Phnom Penh City Bus Authority, including a review of the fare rates and improvements to the bus inspection and maintenance capacity, thereby providing comprehensive support for the bus enterprise infrastructure.