UNITED NATIONS Japan’s prime minister said on Tuesday that his country would provide $1.56 billion to assist Syrians and Iraqis displaced by conflict and for building peace across the Middle East and Africa.
Japan, which accepted just 11 asylum seekers a year ago out of a record 5,000 applicants, will provide about US$810 million (532.06 million pounds) in aid in response to refugees fleeing Syria and Iraq, public broadcaster NHK reported on Monday.
The $750 million set aside for Iraq, and the wider Middle East and North Africa is expected to go on peace and stability efforts such as vocational training, and providing dependable water and sewage facilities.
In a separate seminar at a New York hotel, Abe said the number of foreign tourists to Japan has tripled over the last three years, and that the country will step up efforts and improve hospitality to promote tourism in the run-up to the 2020 Olympic and Paralympics Games in Tokyo. “Now more than ever, Japan wishes to offer that wealth of experience, unstintingly”. He suggested that Japan plans to dispatch Self-Defense Forces officers as commanders for PKO missions.
Earlier this month, Park held summit talks with her Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, and agreed to hold a trilateral summit with Japan in Seoul in either late October or early November.
He made the announcement at the UN General Assembly while pressing for reforms that would allow Japan – the second largest contributor to the United Nations budget – to become a permanent member of the Security Council.
The relations were further exasperated by Abe’s visit previous year to a controversial World War II shrine that includes a few Japanese war criminals.
In what appears to be an indirect reference to so-called “comfort women” who were recruited mainly from the Korean Peninsula to work in wartime brothels for the Japanese military, Abe repeated his resolve to “make the 21st century an era in which women’s human rights are not infringed upon”.