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Extra $50 million in food aid for developing nations

by Reiji Yoshida

Kyodo News

To cope with the current global food price crisis, Japan will extend additional food aid worth $50 million to developing countries by October, Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura said Friday.

Tokyo revealed the additional aid ahead of the Group of Eight summit starting Monday in Hokkaido, where dealing with soaring food prices and poverty are expected to top the agenda for the G8 leaders.

Japan has already pledged to provide emergency food aid programs worth a total of $200 million since January, $140 million of which has already been implemented.

On top of that, Japan has also announced $841 million in assistance for agricultural development projects in Africa and other countries since January, the Foreign Ministry said.

Details of the new food aid have not been decided, including specific recipient countries, but Japanese rice will be included in the package to developing countries, ministry officials said.

Indigenous rights

SAPPORO, (Kyodo) Indigenous people from around the world wrapped up a four-day meeting Friday in Biratori, Hokkaido, calling on the Group of Eight nations to fulfill a U.N. declaration on indigenous people’s rights.

Proposals adopted by the Indigenous Peoples Summit will be presented to Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and other leaders during the G8 summit beginning Monday at Toyako, meeting participants said.

The meeting came after the United Nations adopted the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples last September. It outlines the collective and individual rights of an estimated 370 million indigenous people.

The meeting brought together about 1,500 people from 22 indigenous groups in 11 nations, including the United States and New Zealand.