SAO PAULO – A ceremony commemorating the 60th anniversary of the start of Japan’s official development assistance to Brazil was held Monday in Sao Paulo.
Japan has provided aid of over ¥440 billion in total to the South American country — which has some 2 million people of Japanese ancestry, the world’s largest such community outside Japan — making significant contributions to fields such as agriculture, iron manufacturing and the preservation of the Amazon rainforest.
“Recently, we’ve helped improve the local security situation by launching a project to establish police boxes in almost all states, mainly Sao Paulo,” Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) President Shinichi Kitaoka said at the event.
Kitaoka also showed JICA’s plans to make efforts to nurture personnel who can act as a bridge between the two countries.
“Brazil’s industries, including steel as well as paper and pulp, couldn’t have achieved today’s development without the help of Japan,” Brazilian lawmaker Vitor Lippi said.
Lippi expressed his sincere gratitude to Japan, while noting the impact Japanese assistance has had on the agricultural business in Brazil.
In 1979, Japan started a development project in Cerrado, central Brazil, where farming was not an option.
Over decades, Cerrado, an area with a savanna climate, has become a farming area that produces some 20 percent of the world’s grain harvest, according to JICA.