Speech Transcripts

April 24, 2022
Statement by President Tanaka at the 4th Asia-Pacific Water Forum

Kumamoto Jo Hall (Sakuramachi, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto City, Kumamoto, Japan)

Excellencies, distinguished guests, and all participants: It is my great pleasure to join you at this momentous summit.

JICA's vision is: "Leading the world with trust." Following this vision, we aim to foster human security and quality growth. It is this common goal that brings us together today.

As a bilateral donor, JICA has made the world's largest contribution to the water sector. Japan's disbursements over the past decade have exceeded 1 billion US dollars. 70% of those have been allocated to the Asia-Pacific region.

JICA's contribution is not only significant in its quantity, but unique in its approach. Being located in Asia, Japan has first-hand experience dealing with common regional challenges. By sharing our experiences, and encouraging mutual exchanges of knowledge, JICA has contributed to the region's development.

JICA will continue to aim for a collective impact created through cooperation, with a strong commitment to building a better society together.

The Asia-Pacific region is particularly vulnerable to climate change. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to reduce disaster risk by promoting pre-disaster investment and climate change adaptation. To this end, JICA pursues a "co-benefit approach." It balances sustainable development and climate change action aimed at achieving carbon neutrality, in all its development projects.

There is an overwhelming lack of pre-disaster investment in flood control-related infrastructure. It is essential that we do not allow our vital flood control efforts to weaken.

Asia is home to many densely populated cities which present a myriad of challenges. JICA has launched the "JICA Clean City Initiative" to contribute to a safe and healthy living environment and sustainable economic growth. Working with governments, citizens, and partners, JICA aims to benefit 500 million people in 50 countries by 2030.

For urban water supply, JICA will create "growing water utilities" that can independently raise funds and expand water services. We will improve the management of water utilities in more than 40 cities by 2030.

Regarding agricultural water, Japan has accumulated a wealth of knowledge, technology, and experience related to rice cultivation. JICA will promote efforts, such as participatory irrigation development, to achieve stable agricultural production.

Finally, we must promote collaboration between these sectors to provide practical integrated water resources management which will benefit the people living in the basin.

JICA looks forward to the results of this Summit and our continued cooperation in improving the water sector. It will eventually contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs.

Thank you very much for your kind attention.

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