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Japanese overseas fisheries aid told.


Japanese Government fisheries aid projects provide materials and technical assistance to promote economic and social development in, and maintain and enhance friendly relations with, recipient countries. In addition, Japan uses fisheries aid as a means of maintaining (or attaining) access to foreign waters for Japanese fishermen. For fiscal year 1989, Japan budgeted approximately $80 million for overseas fishery aid. Background

Fisheries aid is only one category of economic development assistance within Japan's Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) program general budget account. (See Table I for a glossary of acronyms.) Although fisheries aid, like all ODA assistance, is administered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the Fisheries Agency of Japan (FAJ) plays a key role in the process. The FAJ effectively controls both fisheries aid policy and grants, because of its role in developing fisheries projects and its veto power over applications for fishery grants-in-aid.

To maximize benefits to its own people, the Japanese Government, usually provides fisheries assistance on a bilateral, year-by-year basis, rather than on a long term or multilateral development basis. In addition, the Government employs only Japanese consultants and contractors in administering aid projects. Recent Aid Budgets

Japan's fisheries aid budget has steadily increased over the last 10 years (Fig. 1). In fiscal year 1989, the Japanese Government budgeted $3.2 billion for total foreign aid(1). Of that amount, about $80 million was budgeted for fishery aid projects, nearly the same as the 1988 fishery aid budget of $79.4 million(2). Japan's fisheries aid budgets for FY 1986 and 1987 were about $54 million and $67 million, respectively. In 1988, 52 percent of total fisheries aid went to Asian countries, 24 percent to Latin American countries, and 24 percent to African and Middle Eastern countries (Fig. 2). Some of Japan's biggest aid projects in 1988 were the $20 million Nakhon Si Thammarat port construction in Thailand, and the $8 million Puerto Deseado port extension in Argentina (Table 2). Types of Projects

Fisheries Agency officials confirm that Government fisheries aid projects generally provide for such things as equipment necessary for fisheries development (fishing nets. small fishing boats, outboard motors, conventional freezing plants, icemaking equipment, refrigerated trucks, etc.), fishery training vessels, and the construction of fishery training/research facilities (laboratories, aquaculture facilities, and fishing ports). Because long-term regional development strategies do not adequately serve the fishing industry's need to respond quickly to changing resource availability and market conditions, Japanese Government fisheries aid projects typically provide help on a bilateral, year-by-year basis. Administrative Procedures

Japanese Government grant assistance (including fisheries aid) is implemented by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). JICA provides the technical expertise for feasibility studies and planning of all aid projects.

According to FAJ officials, the FAJ is consulted and has veto power over all fisheries aid projects. This gives the FAJ effective control over fisheries aid, which is increasingly being used as a means to gain access to the Exclusive Economic Zones of recipient nations. The FAJ's ongoing relationship with those countries, in whose waters the Japanese fish, provides them with considerable opportunity to solicit applications and selectively approve fishery projects beneficial to Japanese interests.

JICA officials describe the procedures for obtaining Japanese Government fishery grants as follows:

1) MOFA and JICA must receive an official aid application from a foreign government (directly or through Japanese embassies abroad) before considering an aid request or beginning project planning.

2) The application is accepted by the Japanese Government.

3) A survey team is sent from JICA for preliminary project planning. The team usually includes FAJ, JICA, and Overseas Fisheries Cooperation Foundation (OFCF) staff and Japanese private consultants.

4) Consultations are then held between the Japanese Foreign Ministry, the Japanese Finance Ministry, and the foreign government involved.

5) Further Japanese Government interagency consultations are held.

6) There is a Japanese Government Cabinet decision and exchange of diplomatic notes.

7) Japanese contractors bid for the project, and a contract is signed with the successful bidder.

8) The contract is approved by the Foreign Ministry.

9) Japanese Government money is deposited in a Japanese foreign exchange bank with the account established under the name of the foreign government.

10) Finally, payment is made to the contractor in proportion to project completion.

Japan's Overseas Fisheries Cooperation Foundation (OFCF) is nominally a private foundation that contracts to assist in project development only after foreign countries have applied for aid assistance. Because of its extensive presence in the South Pacific and its close integral relationship with the FAJ, however, OFCF plays a key role in shaping both the Japanese Government's fisheries aid policy and the kinds of projects for which aid recipients apply. OFCF's funding comes from both fishing industry assessments and from the FAJ budget. OFCF's top management positions are usually held by former FAJ officials OFCF's current president, for example, is former FAJ Director General Goroku Satake.) OFCF has a highly professional staff with field experience in distant water fisheries. (Source: IFR: 89/53, prepared by Karen L. Kelsky and Paul E. Niemeier of Foreign Fisheries Analysis Branch (F/ IA23), NMFS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1335 East West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

(1) Japan's fiscal year runs from April 1 to March 31 of the next year.

(2) Japan apparently exceeded this budget, and disbursed $82.96 million in fisheries aid in 1988 (appendix B).
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Title Annotation:Foreign Fishery Developments; Japan's Overseas Development Assistance program
Publication:Marine Fisheries Review
Date:Sep 22, 1989
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