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Georgia to become the destination of Japan International Cooperation Agency expert program

By Tsotne Pataraia
Friday, December 27
On December 25, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia David Zalkaliani and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Georgia H.E. Tadaharu Uehara signed "Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of Japan on the Exchange of Notes on the Program of Cooperation of Japanese Volunteers with Foreign Countries."

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the agreement implies sending Japanese volunteers to Georgia to assist in various fields, mainly to support economic and social development in Georgia.

The Japanese Ambassador to Georgia considers this project important in the relations between the two countries:

I hope that this program will not only strengthen the relations between the countries but also deepen the ties between the people. Japanese companies realize that Georgia is a very important country for developing their business and investing, Tadaharu Uehara noted.

The draft of the agreement initiated by the Japanese side will be implemented by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). As part of the project, the Japanese side will send JICA volunteers to Georgia to assist the Georgian side in the fields of education, sport, youth, culture, agriculture and public development.

The Georgian Foreign Minister emphasized the high value of the project for Georgia:

I think that their presence in Georgia, sharing their experience with their Georgian counterparts, will significantly contribute to the development of the key areas that are relevant to our country, both in economic terms and in other infrastructure projects. So in my view, this year will be a good basis for those goals and projects that we have already agreed on to be successfully implemented in 2020, said the minister.

When sending volunteers to Georgia, JICA will cover travel and living expenses in Georgia. In addition, JICA will provide access to equipment, vehicles and materials needed for volunteer duties.

JICA Project Formulation Advisor Ogura Toru spoke about the project and thanked the Japanese side and Georgian government for their contribution to make this agreement happen:

"I would like to express my gratitude for the continuous support and efforts made by the Government of Georgia and the Embassy of Japan in signing this document," said Ogura Toru.

He also expressed hope of possible expansion of the scope of the program, both in terms of specific directions, as well as geographically.

The JICA Volunteer Program, founded in 1965, has sent over 50,000 Japanese volunteers to over 100 countries around the world. About 2,000 Japanese volunteers are currently participating in the program. Georgia is the first country in the region where Japan is implementing this volunteer program.