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TANAKA Akihiko

August 14, 2013

In Myanmar, JICA President Tanaka Visits Project Sites
- He confirms effective implementation of cooperation to fight human trafficking and promote sign language -

JICA President Akihiko Tanaka visited the sites of JICA projects dealing with human trafficking and sign language, among other issues, while in Myanmar Aug. 5-11.

He also attended the opening ceremony of the Myanmar Japan Center for Human Resources Development and gave a speech to which he invited members of Myanmar's intelligentsia, development agency stakeholders and others.

photoJICA President Akihiko Tanaka and a JICA expert observe the training of a sign language assistant.

In his JICA project survey, first Tanaka visited the sites of 1) the Project on Capacity Improvement of Recovery and Reintegration Assistance for Trafficked Persons Technical Cooperation Project and 2) the Project for Supporting Social Welfare Administration - Promotion of the Social Participation of the Deaf Community - Phase 2.

Tanaka confirmed that the projects are being implemented effectively. He learned that in the anti-human trafficking project, about 400 people have been trained in providing support for trafficked persons. In the sign language dissemination project, he was told, nine instructors have been trained, 24 sign language assistants are being trained, and sign language courses have been carried out for approximately 5,000 people throughout Myanmar.

Tanaka also visited New Yangon General Hospital and Thilawa area. New Yangon General Hospital, which is affectionately known to the people of Myanmar as "JICA hospital," was built in 1984 with a grant from Japan, and Japan provided assistance for computerized tomography and radiology equipment. Tanaka was deeply impressed by the fact that radiological and other equipment furnished in the 1980s was still being operated and maintained. The hospital chief expressed appreciation for the contribution JICA has made to improving the health situation in Myanmar.

photoStakeholders from Japan dnd Myanmar cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony of the Myanmar-Japan Center for Human Resources Development.

On Aug. 9, President Tanaka attended the opening ceremony of the Myanmar Japan Center for Human Resources Development. The center was established as a human resource development base for business, with the cooperation of the Myanmar Ministry of Commerce, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and JICA. Human resource development for industry not only contributes to cultivating Myanmar’s industry with world-class competitiveness, it also is expected to contribute to creating an environment in which it is easy for Japanese companies to make inroads in Myanmar.

About 50 members of Myanmar's intelligentsia and development agency stakeholders were invited to a seminar, where Tanaka gave a speech about JICA's many years of cooperation with Myanmar, future Japan-Myanmar relations, experiences of development in Southeast Asia and the role of development partners. In particular, citing the example of the eastern seaboard development of Thailand, he emphasized long-term cooperation on building infrastructure and developing human resources. After the speech, there was a lively exchange of opinions and a question and answer session with the participants.

photoJICA President Akihiko Tanaka exchanges opinions with development agency stakeholders and members of Myanmar's intelligentsia.

In the second half of his stay, Tanaka visited Nyaung-U District in the Mandalay region, central Myanmar, and checked on the Project on Rural Water Supply Technology in the Central Dry Zone (technical cooperation) and the Project for the Afforestation in the Dry Zone (grant).

In Gyan Lee village, where a well was dug as part of a rural water-supply technology project, Tanaka saw how the well is being used and listened to an explanation from a resident with the water association.

"When there was no well, drawing water sometimes took all day, but thanks to the well, we can now concentrate on farm work, and we have ample drinking water," the resident said. "Also, with the well I am able to give my cows plenty of water, and my herd has increased by at least two cows. I am grateful for JICA's help."

Tanaka noted that sales of well water are entered into an account book each day, and that profit is used as capital for seed purchases and other purposes, in what amounts to microfinance carried out by the residents themselves.

Tanaka wrapped up his seven-day stay in Myanmar and departed for Japan on Aug. 11.


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