King Abdullah on Saturday concluded an official visit to Japan, where he held talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, parliamentary officials and representatives of Japanese international agencies, according to THE JORDAN TIMES.
On Friday, King Abdullah met with President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Shinichi Kitaoka and discussed means to enhance ties between Jordan and JICA at various levels, according to a Royal Court statement.
Talks covered ways to finance top-priority development projects in the Kingdom, through grants and technical support extended by the Japanese agency.
They also agreed on a programme to help municipalities implement plans under the Decentralisation Law.
The two sides reached an agreement on a training programme JICA will implement with Jordan during 2017-2018, aimed at enhancing the Kingdom’s role as a regional hub for training and capacity building, the statement added.
Kitaoka stressed that JICA would continue to support the Kingdom in hosting Syrian refugees through a variety of programmes.
In an interview with the Jordan News Agency, Petra, he said that the assistance that JICA presents to refugees in Jordan is not included in the support the agency offers to the Kingdom.
In this regard, the JICA president noted that assistance programmes, whether financial or technical, are aimed at improving Jordan’s institutional capabilities.
Separately, His Majesty met with Governor of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) Akira Kondoh, and discussed with him prospects of promoting infrastructure projects the Kingdom plans to implement in cooperation with the private sector.
These projects are concentrated in the renewable energy and electricity generation sectors, along with the Red Sea- Dead Sea Water Conveyance Project, the statement added.
Also on the agenda were Jordanian endeavours to provide “high-quality” infrastructure, with Kondoh emphasising the bank’s willingness to increase financial support to the private sector to be able to implement such projects.
King Abdullah and Kondoh also looked into the prospects of cooperation between the private sectors of both countries, to execute rebuilding projects in the region in the aftermath of ongoing conflicts.
The Monarch discussed in the meeting with Abe on Thursday strategic relations and regional and international issues.
The talks, attended by HRH Princess Salma and senior officials, covered ways to maintain coordination and communication between Jordan and Japan and boost cooperation in the political, economic and security fields.
Regarding economy, the King and Abe also discussed the economic cooperation programme with Japan as initial projects of top priority to Jordan were presented, to benefit from Japan’s development grants programme and support the budget through soft loans to minimise public debt.
The Japanese side announced providing $300 million as a soft loan to be spent on development projects.
After the discussions, a grant agreement was signed with the Japanese government, under which Tokyo will provide an additional $10 million to instal modern surveillance systems on the borders, and a memorandum of understanding in the field of defence cooperation.