JICA, Ateneo lecture highlights Bangsamoro peace building process
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in partnership with Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) held a special joint lecture on Japan and Bangsamoro’s peace building process.
The topic “Japan’s Experience on Peace Building: Bangsamoro’s Journey to Peace” is the fourth in a series of lecture events under the JICA Chair program in the Philippines This JICA Chair program, launched in 2020, aims to share Japan’s modernization experience with partner countries, like the Philippines, and initiate discourse on common issues and solutions to challenges.
“Today’s JICA Chair focusing on the Bangsamoro peace process is consistent with our ongoing cooperation to support their transition to autonomous government, jumpstarting livelihood, and promoting inclusive socioeconomic development,” said JICA Chief Representative SAKAMOTO Takema. “We are always ready to exchange and share different perspectives and feedbacks so we can achieve greater economic prosperity in the region through peace building.”
Tokyo University of Foreign Studies Professor SHINODA Hideaki is the speaker for the lecture. His research focus includes peace building, international order, and national sovereignty. The panelists are Minister Mohammad S. Yacob from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) , Director Farrah Grace Naparan from the Office of Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU), Dr. Jennifer Oreta from the Department of Political Science in ADMU, Senior Director MUROTANI Ryutaro from the Governance and Peacebuilding Department of JICA, and Mr. OCHIAI Naoyuki from the Southeast Asia Department of JICA. The lecture was conducted in hybrid manner with around 100 participants onsite, and more than 400 participants online.
JICA remains a close friend and partner of the Bangsamoro people for over three decades now. In 2006, the Japanese Government launched a comprehensive development package called Japan-Bangsamoro Initiative for Reconstruction and Development (J-BiRD)1 . To date, the Government of Japan’s assistance to Bangsamoro amounted to more than PhP 26 billion since 2002, when the Japanese Government accounted ‘The Support Package for Peace and Stability in Mindanao’.
JICA added that the lecture gives opportunity for conversations on how international cooperation partners like JICA can have more impact in its cooperation in the Bangsamoro peace process. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, JICA continues to extend cooperation to Bangsamoro through various interventions, to name a few: Capacity Development Project for the Bangsamoro, the Road Network Development Project for Conflict Affected Areas in Mindanao, the Program for the Urgent Improvement of Socioeconomic Infrastructures in Bangsamoro and the dispatch of JICA advisors to BTA.
Through this lecture series, it was emphasized that peacebuilding is a long-term process that requires effort and commitment from various stakeholders in order to be successful and sustainable. JICA fully supports the Bangsamoro people as it continues to do best efforts through the transition process for the peace and prosperity in the Bangsamoro region and in the entire country.
1 J-BiRD stands for ‘Japan-Bangsamoro Initiative for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD)’ which aims to help build peace and stability in conflict-affected areas of Mindanao as one of the important pillars of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) to the Philippines.