June 24, 2016
Some 46 Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers paid a courtesy call to the Prime Minister of Lao P.D.R. Dr. Thongloun Sisoulith on Wednesday (22nd June 2016).
JICA is the first international volunteer organization to pay a courtesy call to the new Prime Minister since his appointment in late April 2016.
This marks the 15th courtesy call made by JICA volunteers to Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister since 2002.
It comes after JICA and the Government of Laos celebrated the 50th anniversary of the dispatch of JICA volunteers last year.
Laos and Japan also marked the 60th anniversary of their bilateral relationship last year.
Addressing the volunteers and JICA representatives, Dr. Thongloun expressed appreciation for JICA volunteer's activities that contribute to development in Laos and tighten bonds of friendship between the two countries and their peoples.
He also expressed anticipation for further deployment of JICA volunteers to Laos and opportunities for expansion Japanese ODA to areas in need.
Representative of JICA volunteer, Ms. Tomomi KOTODA, gave a speech in the Lao language.
She said that she could not speak the local tongue well and had faced challenges with different diet, climate and customs after being posted in Sayabouly.
However, the Lao people helped her a lot with their kindness and cheerfulness, helping herself and fellow JICA volunteers to be motivated and making them big fans of the country.
JICA expects to maintain its current level of about 60 concurrently serving volunteers moving forward, in the hope of further strengthening socio-economic development and the longstanding friendship between the two countries.
Prime Minister H. E. Thongloune and JICA volunteers
Dr. Thongloune addresses volunteers in front of a bust of late President and founder of the Lao PDR Kaysone Phomvihane.
Volunteer Ms. Kotoda gives a speech
Ms. Sasaki hands over a bouquet of flowers to the Prime Minister in appreciation.