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Cablegate: Ambassador Roos Meets with Jica President Ogata

VZCZCXRO0904
PP RUEHDBU RUEHPW RUEHSL
DE RUEHKO #2566/01 3100921
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 060921Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7302
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD PRIORITY 0392

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TOKYO 002566

SIPDIS

STATE/EAP/J, STATE/EEB, SRAP, NEA
PASS USAID/ODP USAID/SCAA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID ECON JA PGOV
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR ROOS MEETS WITH JICA PRESIDENT OGATA

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED (SBU) -- NOT FOR INTERNET
DISTRIBUTION

Summary (SBU): Japanese International Cooperation Agency
(JICA) President Sadako Ogata warmly welcomed Ambassador Roos
on a October 28 courtesy call, sharing observations from a
recent trip to Iraq and personal reflections on the
complexities and challenges involved in Afghanistan and
Pakistan. The universally-respected Ogata also outlined for
the Ambassador key changes/reforms to Japan's foreign aid
priorities and structures since JICA assumed an expanded
organizational mandate in late 2008. Ambassador Roos
underscored the importance of Japan's contributions to global
development and expressed his interest in expanding
U.S.-Japan cooperation on shared priorities such as climate
change and engaging the private sector to address development
goals. End Summary.

New JICA under Ogata
--------------------

1. (U) As JICA President, Ogata directs Japan's core
development aid agency, managing approximately $10 billion in
annual foreign assistance to more than 100 countries around
the world. Since a comprehensive reform and consolidation of
Japan's foreign aid structures took effect in late 2008, JICA
has assumed integrated responsibilities for administering all
overseas technical cooperation, grant aid, and concessional
loan operations. Ogata outlined for the Ambassador the
shifts in aid approach and priorities since JICA assumed its
expanded mandate. While Ogata allowed that a majority of
Japan's aid still goes to strategic countries in the
Asia-Pacific region, with India mentioned as the largest
recipient, she believes that Japan has sharpened the
development focus of its aid and is pleased with the
increased attention to countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, which
now constitutes 28 percent of the aid budget.

Back from Baghdad and the Af-Pak Challenge
------------------------------------------

2. (SBU) Ogata recently returned from a trip to review
JICA operations in Iraq, where she relayed that she also
visited with Ambassador Hill at Embassy Baghdad. Japan has
provided nearly $5 billion in assistance to Iraq since
Operation Enduring Freedom and recently approved several new
large-scale infrastructure development loans. Ogata conveyed
to Ambassador Roos that she believes that important progress
has been made in Iraq, and that continued JICA efforts to
consolidate gains are critical. Ogata mentioned Ambassador
Hill's proposal to facilitate the participation or imbedding
of JICA personnel in USG interagency "diplomatic-development
teams" in Iraq and expressed that it may possible for JICA to
do this (she drew a distinction between this proposal with
Provincial Reconstruction Teams/PRTs in Afghanistan, a
situation which she believed would be too risky/difficult for
her agency, or Japan to take on).

3. (SBU) Moving then to Afghanistan, where JICA has been
active since 2002, Ogata and JICA's Director General for
South Asia Masataka Nakahara outlined for the Ambassador
JICA's programs and presence on the ground-- currently at 40
field-based staff who are managing programs in agriculture,
health, education, and infrastructure. Ogata believes
progress is occurring in Afghanistan, but is concerned about
the increased return of Taliban members to the country
"particularly over the past year." Bio Note: As former UN
High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and GOJ Special Envoy
to Afghanistan, Ogata has extensive experience in the region
going beyond her JICA leadership. End Note. The Ambassador
inquired about the degree to which Ogata has been consulted
by the new government in developing their proposal to
increase civilian assistance, with Ogata responding that she
briefed Foreign Minister Okada, as well as Prime Minister
Hatoyama on the region and the viability of programming
options for both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Ambassador Roos
also asked Ogata what she felt the U.S. should focus on in
Afghanistan, and in a noteworthy response for someone who has
devoted most of her life to development and the softer sides
of diplomacy, Ogata said "it's clear the military is still
needed...and that human security concerns are still paramount
there."


Let's Work Together
-------------------

4. (SBU) Ambassador Roos complimented Ogata on her
leadership and the quality of JICA's programs, and emphasized

TOKYO 00002566 002 OF 002


the importance of Japan's continued engagement on global
issues. Re-iterating that the U.S. and Japan share many
common priorities, such as climate change and increased
attention to development in Sub-Saharan Africa, the
Ambassador offered his support to help deepen and broaden our
bilateral aid collaboration. Ogata cited the value of the
joint work USAID and JICA have done in the public health
area, and her interest in expanding this to other areas. The
Ambassador and Ogata also agreed that promotion of
public-private partnerships, and leveraging the Japanese
private sector to support development objectives would be a
particularly useful area for us to work together on moving
forward.

Participants
------------

U.S. Ambassador John V. Roos
JICA President Sadako Ogata
JICA Director General for Operations Strategy, Kunio Okamura
JICA Director General for South Asia, Masataka Nakahara
JICA Director General for Middle East, Junichi Yamada
Embassy Tokyo USAID Counselor, John Beed
ROOS

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