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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, October 23, 2014 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The issue of the new ODA Charter


REPORTER: I would like to ask a question regarding official development assistance (ODA). My question is about the new ODA Charter. The new Charter will allow the provision of ODA for activities involving foreign militaries if it is for non-military objectives, such as disaster assistance, which have been prohibited up to the present day. What is the aim behind this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, I should like to refrain from going into the details at this time as we are still in the process of compiling the final draft of the new Charter. Otherwise, I would be speculating. On this basis, I would like to note that, with regard to the point you just raised, the report of the advisory panel on the review of the ODA Charter submitted in late June also recommended that support for non-military objectives, such as for a civilian purpose or disaster assistance, should not be uniformly ruled out just because the military is involved. The report recommended that the Government determine whether or not such assistance should be provided by fully and carefully reviewing its effects and impacts, while taking into account the substantive significance of extending the assistance. We are now in the process of reviewing and compiling the final draft in light of these recommendations. In the past, ODA has been provided, for example, for the renovation of an obstetric department of a military hospital and for inviting a military personnel to a non-military seminar, determining that such assistance did not infringe the principle of the existing ODA Charter of avoiding use of ODA for military purposes or for aggravation of international conflicts.

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