My name is Toshio NAGASE and I am JICA Laos Chief Resident Representative.
I am very pleased to know that many of you are familiar with my predecessor, our former chief representative and a very good friend of Laos, Mr YONEYAMA Yoshiharu.
I arrived in Vientiane Capital on March 28. Proceeding into quarantine, I was very fortunate to complete the two weeks in time for Pimai Lao, the traditional New Year Holidays here in Laos.
Of course, this period was followed closely by lockdown in the capital and beyond due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak.
In Laos like worldwide, we all had to face lifestyle changes amid this new reality.
For JICA, this means working safely, efficiently and effectively with our partners to address critical development issues. We can do so by wearing masks while washing and sanitizing hands frequently. During the pandemic, we have also been gathering more often in online settings to reduce risks of coronavirus transmission from close contact in enclosed settings.
In various ways, the world we have been familiar with is continuing to change rapidly. In this environment, it is my task and JICA's mission to always stand with the Lao people.
JICA must always cooperate closely and effectively with our Lao and international partners to make sure that no one is left behind in pursuit of development goals in this new era.
To do so, I would like to listen to Lao voices from across the country. Idea-sharing and exchange can help to provide opportunities and enlighten, showing ways forward for the people of Laos.
And of course, JICA continues to help Laos to improve the country's business environment, for inclusive and sustainable development powered by the private sector.
So, if you happen to be nearby, please do not hesitate to drop in at the JICA Laos Office to share a "Sabaidee" greeting while following our health and safety protocols.
You are also more than welcome to contact myself and JICA Laos online too. I look forward to hearing from you soon!
Chief Resident Representative
JICA Laos Office