April 7, 2011
Chairperson, Masaaki Ohashi
JANIC expresses its heartfelt sympathy to those affected by the East Japan Earthquake and sincerely hopes for the earliest possible recovery of the region. Many of JANIC's member NGOs have begun emergency relief activities in the disaster area.
On April 7, it was reported that the Democratic Party of Japan's Great East Japan Earthquake Recovery and Reconstruction Study Commission, chaired by Secretary General Katsuya Okada, asked the government to reduce the ODA budget for the current fiscal year by 20% in order to secure enough funding for the first supplementary post-earthquake reconstruction budget. JANIC strongly requests the Commission and the government to reconsider this proposal and to maintain the original ODA budget.
While JANIC recognizes the need to quickly mobilize resources to jumpstart a recovery, we urge the government to carefully consider the implications of cutting the ODA. Cutting the ODA budget by 20% minimizes Japan's responsible role in the international community. If the government decides to slash its ODA, there will be immeasurable impact on the poor in developing countries. It is important to note that many nations - including developing countries - responded to Japan's needs after the earthquake, partly because of the goodwill built up by Japan's own generosity via ODA. JANIC strongly requests that the Japanese government maintain the original ODA budget, but if cuts are made, the government should avoid cutting the budget related to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.