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Ogata vows JICA support for Arab democratization

Kyodo

The head of the Japan International Cooperation Agency says JICA will offer a broad range of support to Egypt and other countries that have experienced the Arab Spring democratization movements while paying attention to correcting social inequalities.

JICA President Sadako Ogata made the pledge in a speech Monday night in Cairo to diplomatic circles. Ogata, who will step down from her post at the end of the month, has chosen the Middle East as the destination for her final overseas trip as JICA chief.

The democratization movements have drawn power from the youth who recognized economic inequalities and political oppression through online services such as Facebook and Twitter, said Ogata, for head of the UNHCR.

She emphasized that developmental assistance, which is JICA’s mission, must benefit a broad range of people and not just a privileged handful.

Ogata said JICA will back construction of new democratic systems through such projects as training people and building organizations.

In Egypt since Sunday, Ogata met with dignitaries including Saad El-Katatni, speaker of the country’s first democratically elected legislature, and Prime Minister Kamal Ganzouri.

On Wednesday, Ogata was scheduled to visit Tunisia, where the Arab Spring started.

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