Kyodo News InternationalPrime Minister Shinzo Abe renewed Japan's commitment to
supporting Somalia's nation-building efforts Friday, saying Tokyo will
resume direct aid to the East African nation which is seeking to revive
its economy and government following 22 years of civil strife and
Friday, May 31, 2013
At a special meeting in Yokohama dedicated to discussing issues
confronting Somalia, Abe said Japan's new assistance to the country will
focus on enhancing its socio-economic conditions, maintaining law and
order there, and invigorating the country's fragile industries.
"The stability of Somalia is important for the stability and
prosperity of East Africa and indispensible for solving Somalia's piracy
problem fundamentally and ensuring the safety of one of the world's
major maritime arteries, which connects the Indian Ocean with the Red
and Mediterranean seas," Abe told participants.
The one-day meeting, which was held on the sidelines of a
summit-level meeting of leaders mostly from Africa on the continent's
development from Saturday through Monday, also drew such dignitaries as
Somali President Hassan Sheik Mohamud and Helen Clark, head of the U.N.
Noting that Japan has already pledged the disbursement of $55.4
million in aid to Somalia through various international organizations,
Abe said his country has also decided to resume direct aid to the
country in a bid to "contribute to Somalia's nation- building in
Japan will also help create employment for young Somalis by
nurturing fisheries and other industries in Somalia, with the hope of
invigorating bilateral trade and investment in the future, he added.
Earlier Friday, Abe also held talks with Mohamud in the Japanese port city.
In Somalia, which descended into civil war in 1991, a new
government was finally established when Mohamud was installed as the
country's president in September last year.
He is the first Somali leader to attend the Africa development
meeting, known as the Tokyo International Conference on African
Development, which began 20 years ago and is co-hosted by Japan and
international organizations such as the United Nations and the World