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Japan cut aid after failure to back U.N. candidate: Uganda.

KAMPALA, Jan. 17 Kyodo

The Japanese government suspended aid to Uganda two years ago when it failed to support Japan's candidate for a top United Nations post, resulting in 11 hospitals across the country being severely affected, Ugandan officials said Thursday.

The revelation came when Ugandan Foreign Affairs Minister James Wapakhabulo said he had ''apologized'' to a visiting delegation of Japanese politicians on Wednesday for Uganda's failure to support Japan's candidate for a top post in the U.N. Organization for Education, Science, Culture and Communications (UNESCO).

Wapakhabulo said he made the apology to a five-member Japanese delegation.

''We have apologized. The mistakes of the past should not stand in our way,'' he said. ''We look forward to the resumption of aid.''

The aid suspension had badly affected 11 hospitals nationwide, Ugandan officials said.

The Japanese mission, comprising members of the Japanese Parliamentarian Federation for Population (JPFP), is visiting East Africa to study issues of population control, HIV/AIDS and food and water shortages in the region.

In Uganda, the team also toured the AIDS Support Organization (TASO), an NGO that cares for people with HIV/AIDS at the Mulago Hospital in Kampala, which was once funded by the Japanese government.

The visit was part of the JPFP's mission to strengthen relations between Japanese and African parliamentarians on policies aimed at improving population and development programs, the officials said.

The JPFP team arrived in Uganda on Tuesday from Tanzania, and will visit Kenya before returning to Tokyo on Friday.

The six lawmakers in the JPFP mission are Hiroyuki Nagahama, Kiichi Inoue and Shozo Azuma from the House of Representatives, and Yoriko Madoka, Yoko Tajima and Shin Sakurai from the House of Councilors.

In Kenya, the team is due to tour the Kenya Medical Research Institute, which is funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, and meet with government officials from the Ministry of Public Health.
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Publication:Japan Policy & Politics
Date:Jan 21, 2002
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