Why the Japanese government grant a first priority on foreign policy for
──This is the realities of the Japanese foreign aid as "vote buying" on the IWC──
(1) fisheries ODA ── the symbol of an anachronistic "checkbook diplomacy"
■Visiting of Officials of African nations to a whaling company before the IWC annual meeting
In April 8 2009, a news was reported on one Japanese local newspaper. Officials of four African countries, Algeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Burkina Faso, Mali, visited to Minami-Boso City in Chiba, Japan and observed Sotobo Hogei a coastal whaling company.
"Visit to Minami-Boso City from Africa, for better understanding of whaling" (04/08/2009, Bonichi Shimbun, Japanese text only)
What is their purpose of visiting? For help infrastructure development of social welfare facilities or basic industries in those countries? That is nonsense. However, their visiting of the whaling company was not simple tourism.
These four countries shows a deep understanding of sustainable use of whale resources. Then we expect them to ally a member of International Whaling Commission (IWC) and support the position of our country in the future. The visit to Minami-Boso area where whaling culture progressed was made a plan for a deeper understanding of whaling.The above is a quotation from the article of Bonichi Shimbun. Just to clarify, Mali has already been joined the IWC in 2004. Whaling industry has not been exist in these four countries. The traditional habit of eat whales has not been, too. Mali and Burkina Faso are landlocked countries at all. There is no administrative reason for them to pay membership dues of the international organization. What the hell, have them make such a strange choice?
The answer is Japanese Official Development Assistance; "ODA".
■Inseparable relationship between Japanese ODA and IWC vote
In last March, a seminar titled "the seminar on the sustainable use of whales" was held by the Japanese Foreign Ministry in Tokyo and 12 countries from East Asia, Africa and Oceania participated it. Tanzania is one of those countries, and joined the IWC in June. A similar seminar was held confidentially this year, and four countries that shown good response was maybe invited to Minami-Boso City. Against the seminar of last year, the environmental NGO Greenpeace Japan (GPJ) held a protest banner in front of the venue.
GPJ is also provided information to press two years ago about buying the IWC votes by Japanese foreign aid. That is reported the relationship between fisheries ODA of Japan and countries voted ayes to "Declaration of St. kits" seeking an early resumption of commercial whaling adopted at the 2006 IWC annual meeting.
According to them, a total of 564 billion yen had been offered to countries that support Japanese claims under the pretext of aid from 1994 until 2006. On May 2007, Mr. Atherton Martin, the former Environment Minister of Dominica gave a lecture in Tokyo on the state of his country caused many negative effects including on the economy by Japanese ODA.
"Vote-buying by Japan at the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC)" (GP International)
"Taxes 564 billion yen for normalizing the whaling issue?" (2/12/2007,GPJ, Japanese text only)
"Japanese aid has destroyed tradition and fisheries of Dominica" (5/19/2007, GPJ, Japanese text only)
"Bargain seminar for pro-whaling?" (3/3/2008, GPJ, Japanese text only)
"Overview of the seminar on sustainable use of the kind whales" (3/6/2008, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan:MOFA, Japanese text only)
Holding of the International Symposium "Recent Trend of the Management of Marine Living Resources: Possibility and Limitation of Ecosystem approaches" (3/2/2007, MOFA)
The particulars of "Soliciting actively" by the Japanese government to the members of the IWC is explained booklet "JAPAN'S 'VOTE CONSOLIDATION OPERATION' AT THE INTERNATIONAL WHALING COMMISSION" published in 2006. The details of "Japan's national bribery conduct" for gaining supporters votes by offering ODA and undertaking dues of organization is explained by an article "The Fisheries Agency's fault by fueling nationalism--the resignation of an official who have took charge research whaling" in the Japanese journal "AERA" published in last April by Asahi Shimbun-sha. Recent trend is introduced at the Wikipedia Japan.
International Whaling Commission 4.4 "encouraged activities" (Wikipedia Japan, Japanese text only)
International Whaling Commission (Wikipedia)
Excerpts from some of the encouraged activities below. In 2005, ABC Australia reported that the documents indicated the Japanese government have expend relative funds for the IWC to Grenada. Alberto Wata, the IWC commissioner of Solomon for a decade and Nelson Kyle, the former fisheries minister of Solomon and Wata's successor testified that Japan had paid travel expenses for their delegation and membership dues of the IWC. Atherton Martin of Dominica said that "That's new colonialism" and severely condemned Japan for those practice.
The Japanese Fisheries Agency says "Japan's foreign aid have also provide to anti-whaling countries such as India and Argentina, so there is no need to favor Japan on the IWC, nor fear of lost our aid if they took the anti-whaling policy", therefore "Encouraged activities"are censured as "corrupt practice" from GP, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and many other environmental NGO.
This is a very clever phrase like bureaucratic account, indeed. Aid from Japan is not reduced to zero if those country cease to assist Japan in the IWC. It is no wonder that Fisheries Agency said, except for all of Japan's ODA employed only for aiming at whaling promotion. That is crazy. However, if existence of benefits is plain to be upgraded substance of aid for supporting Japanese whaling promotion in the IWC, the Fisheries Agency claims turn out brittle.
In fact, Hiroaki Kametani, the former Fisheries Parliamentary Secretary made it clear encouraged activities toward pro-whaling countries with putting ODA to practical use. "Mr. Whaling" Masayuki Komatsu, a professor at National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies who had negotiated at the IWC for Japan and written many books on whaling, said about advantage of ODA that "What's wrong?". Joji Morishita, the counselor of Fisheries Agency has been reticent about the truth of the report by NGO. Their stalling off a question or turning upon as "There is no wrong to take advantage of ODA" is evidence to admitted that nothing can possibly excuse for them. While not openly acknowledged, Japan's encouraged activities for the alliance of pro-whaling countries with aid are no longer covert.
Then, how much is the proportion of use to vote buying for whaling on the whole of ODA? What characteristic is shown among the target countries received Japan's encouragement? How high is the priority of strategic whaling diplomacy with aid given on foreign policy issues in Japan? Is it reasonable for the Japanese people? And, what to seem the people of the world?
This report make a gap of aid between pro-whaling countries and the other nations clear, and bring forward what that mean for the Japanese people.
■What is fisheries ODA?──that given the exceptional presence among all of ODA
At the first, what is fisheries ODA of Japan?
Japan's ODA is divided into three types, Loan aid (so-called yen loans), Grant aid and Technical cooperation. Aside from this, there are assistance by local governments and by way of international organization invested by the Japanese government. fisheries ODA is one of Grant aid that the countries are under obligation to repay aid received. If you know more information about Japan's ODA, please check the following website.
Japan's ODA (Official Development Assistance) (MOFA)
"JICS: Glossary of International Cooperation" (Japan International Cooperation System, Japanese text only)
"Instructions to join Economic Cooperation" (the Association for International Cooperation, Japanese text only)
Grant aid is currently being done in the following nine types.
(3) Disaster Recovery
(4) Community Development
(8) Food Assistance
(9) Support to Poor Farmers
Then, you are sure to say "Why?" cause Fisheries is independent as a high item.
The other item is important to understand tacitly. But is it really Fisheries treated in equal footing with these genres? So, assistance for agriculture, forestry, environment, medical, education, communication, transportation or energy and the like should deal fairly along in the same rank with fisheries?
In fact, these categories are for sure. General Grant aid is divided into five types, General Project, Non-project, Grass-roots and Human Security, Cooperation with NGOs, Training. Furthermore, General Project Grant aid is divided into Environment, Health and Welfare, Education and People Making, Energy, and also Agriculture and Forestry add as an item. A genre of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries is included In Grass-roots Grant aid and Cooperation with NGOs Grant aid, too.
Assistance for Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries ought be collected the same category as Assistance for Primary Industries, shouldn't they? Why assistance for only single industry is demoted to double higher rank with such as assistance for environment or education and healthcare that seem far more important from our sense?
The amount both of fisheries ODA and the others is stated in Japan's ODA White Paper. As the result in 2007, while the total amount of Fisheries Grant aid and other Grant aid for fisheries is about 4.6 billion yen (39 million dollar), the total amount of General Project Grant aid for agriculture and forestry are expected about 5.7 billion yen (48 million dollar). In 2006, while ODA for fisheries is about 4.6 billion yen (40 million dollar), ODA for agriculture and forestry is about 5.2 billion yen (45 million dollar). And in 2005, while ODA for fisheries is about 3.5 billion yen (32 million dollar), ODA for agriculture and forestry is about 2.4 billion yen (22 million dollar). So, ODA for fisheries had exceed for agriculture and forestry more than 10 million dollar in 2005.
"the ODA White Paper at 2008 / Reference of Japan's International Cooperation chart 28" (MOFA, Japanese text only)
"the ODA White Paper at 2008 / Reference of Japan's International Cooperation Chart 39, Chart 40, Chart 41" (MOFA, Japanese text only)
Japan's Official Development Assistance White Paper 2008 : Part IV Statistics and Reference Materials (MOFA)
For reference, the ratio of fisheries among total amount of production of agriculture, forestry and fisheries in Japan is about 16 percent. In the world it is difficult to compare the value of production, but while working population of agriculture, forestry and fishery is about 2.6 billion as a whole (at 2005), fishermen (at 1990) is about 2.7 million.
"Statistics of Japan: Agricultural production index" (Statistics Bureau of Japan, Microsoft Excel file, Japanese text only)
"Statistics of the World: Number of population engaged in Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries" (Statistics Bureau of Japan, Microsoft Excel file, Japanese text only)
"NUMBERS OF FISHERS 1970-1996" (FAO)
In comparison with other Grant aid, the amount of assistance for environment in General Project Grant Assistance in 2007 is under 1.9 billion yen (16 million dollar) and assistance for culture which should rank equally with fisheries ODA is only about 2.0 billion yen (17 million dollar). Additionally, while the limit amount of donation per project is set 10 million yen (0.1 million dollar) at Grass-roots Grant aid and 300 million yen (3 million dollar) at Cooperation with NGO Grant aid in principle, fisheries ODA has not been set grant limit so that is not ordinary around 1 billion yen (10 million dollar) per one case based Exchange of Notes (E/N) at fisheries ODA. fisheries ODA is very different from the other Grant Assistance in requirements (see below).
In this way, figures express obviously that fisheries ODA is granted very high importance on all of Japan's ODA. Why?
The summary of fisheries ODA is found on page 60 of the ODA White Paper 2008. The field about the process of examination and determine has been written the following phrase.
To select the target countries of assistance, we are considering the friendly relations between Japan on fisheries sector.In other words, the criteria of fisheries ODA to select target is not the population of fisherman, the ratio among industrial economy, or technical level of those countries. And neither the aid grant to countries which is behind the ecological research of species of fish being caught and the development of fisheries management systems nor becoming difficult to continue the sustainable use of fisheries resources depleted. If the claim of Fisheries Agency of Japan at the IWC as "Sustainable use of marine resources" is not mere pretext, it should be proper fisheries ODA.
There are all sorts of fisheries. And also, fisheries are characteristic by need constant adjustment to friction between coastal and offshore, different fishing methods or species, neighbor competitors,and so on. It is obscure how on earth "friendliness" can be estimated even in fisherman's place. There is no description including such political nuances Non-project Grant aid and Grass-roots and Human Security Grant aid which are type of direct financial aid have written following phrase "examine foreign effects on the occasion for operation project" For example, friendship in the sector of environment, education, agriculture are not screening criteria to select target countries for aid. Those explicit expression are used only to fisheries ODA.
In other words, fisheries ODA is the most political among Japan's ODA. And the historical background existed there.
■History of fisheries ODA──terrible faulty practices of past them
How had been the past realities of fisheries ODA?
The sources of below content are& "Monthly Pacifica: the problem of aid to the Pacific" (Antinuclear Pacific Center Tokyo, 1989) and "the basic information of nuclear-free and independent at the Pacific" (Tomakuimushi-sha, 1990). It has been described them in detail how Japan had put fisheries ODA to practical use at the time for the Pacific island countries which are strongly assisting Japan now.
Bilateral aid to the Pacific countries from Japan grew 3.5 times in five years between 1983 and 1987. The growth rate of the entire world at the same period is 1.5times. fisheries ODA had accounted for 36 percent of their Grant aid. The goal is to protect the interests of Japan's deep-sea fishing.
In 1973, Just Japan's fisheries ODA was founded, the second meeting of the UN Law of the Sea held and it led many countries to set 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Among them, Japan's fisheries ODA has been used as card of negotiation to Pacific or other countries which have foreign fishing ground. This year, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries demanded the budget of 1 billion yen (10 million dollar) for the negotiations to gain foreign fishing ground and the Ministry of Finance obtained them informal consent once, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs interrupted to unify foreign policy and had to take the initiative in the form of the face to consult the Fisheries Agency at the implementation assistance. Thus was born the fisheries ODA.
By this time, the Pacific countries set up the South Pacific Fisheries Organization and asked deep-sea fishing countries to pay 10 percent of the fishing fee as a whole throughout the organization. However, Japan did not accept it and the government had provided ODA in compensation for making each country set the fishing fee about 4 percent to negotiate separately.
The article at 9/17/1989 in the Mainichi Shimbun has been introduced testimony of government officials.
"We encourage other countries to recognized the amount of aid as part of a fishing fee. And we tend to bring aid as a bargaining chip in negotiations."Where aid is influenced by the degree of progress in negotiations of fisheries. When aid provide to the country which never permit fishing to foreign fishing boat, fisheries industry claimed against the government as "Why you need to help?" and politicians put pressure directly. In such a case that Japanese fishing boats had been not able to operate in 200 nautical miles of the country for breakdown negotiations, government officials or the top of party of fisheries industry threatened to discontinue aid.
Cause it was negotiating tool, the amount was important but the substance such as actual circumstances at the country or needs of residents was not matter. Facts about the country, but without regard to the needs of residents. They did not think anything such as fuel charges and operating maintenance costs. What's the result?
At Majuro, the capital of the Marshall, large freezing warehouse as capacity of 150 tons built by Japan at 1986 had been running for over three years remain empty. Only one marlin had been rolled into the floor of the warehouse. At Micronesia, single-hook fishing boats granted in 1987 had been berthed at the port two and a half years. That should had been because it is not satisfactory from the ship handling training to fishermen during the delivery. At Berau, in 1981 many prefab refrigerator and ice machine granted by Japan stopped. In Vanuatu, very terrible case was shown that only engines granted to the village which have no boat and they had been exposed to the weather on the beach.
In exchange for such sloppy aid, deep-sea fishing of Japan had made mass harvesting of fisheries resources around the Pacific island countries. The governments welcomed the aid for being possible to exported bonito and tuna to Europe, America and Japan by the promotion of fisheries, but local residents could not eat those high-grade fish ironically and had to raise the degree of dependence on foreign food for importing a large amount of cans of mackerel and sardines from Japan. In the first half of 1980s, catches of Bigeye tuna around the Pacific islands by longline fisheries by Japan rise to ninety percent, while local catches just one percent. In Solomon, Taiyo fisheries one of the major whaling company which currently renamed Maruha-Nichiro Holdings integrated with other whaling and fisheries company Nichiro as a trading firm carrying marine products established a joint venture Solomon Taiyo with the government and had used freezer facilities built by ODA shrewdly. Catches had increased 8 or 9 times since the 1970s to 1980s in Solomon. Another problems are caused that claim by residents concerned about the overharvesting of fish for food, or distortions of income distribution at communities in the customs of traditional.
In 1993 the UN adopted a resolution to ban large-scale drift-net fishing on high seas, prior to this, South Pacific Forum (SPF, renamed in 2002 PIF: Pacific Islands Forum) which consist of the Pacific countries adopt "Tarawa Declaration" in 1989 that called for a ban on irresponsible, indiscriminate and destructive drift-net. In addition to the bycatch problem of seabirds, sea turtles, whales and other wildlife, they concerned about the adverse effects to highly migratory fishes at the EEZ of their countries. At the time, Japan had sent out a lot of drift-net fishing boat around the Pacific islands in spite of ban on the coast and the Japanese ambassador to Fiji said "We Japan grant them 70 million dollar, a large amount of ODA" with argument opposite to precautionary principle, so severe international protests led back. Daily newspaper of Papua New Guinea has sharply criticized in its editorial, "Japan is buying SILENCE from the Pacific islands nations by giving aid". (Post -Courier, 7/31/1989).
By the way, how the history of relationship except fisheries between Japan and the Pacific nations?
For example, the article by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs introduce Palau that "There are reign under Japan 31 years in the history and Japanese language and culture are so prevalent that very pro-Japanese. Speaking of good governance, but from the perspective of the people of Palau, this is the age of 31 years as colonial oppression in fact. "Penetration the Japanese" was the result of the assimilationism which denied their tradition and culture and forced the Japanese language and the imperial education. Micronesian were not even treated as citizens of Japan unlike the Koreans or Taiwanese. Japan had positioned the Pacific islands as a base for military against U.S., and then they had involved the residents the ravages of war. In Nauru island, about 1,200 people as two-thirds of the total population were deported to Truk islands for the work of Japanese military, and nearly half could not came back home alive. Many young people recruiting were killed in battle, but no compensation expensed because they had not Japanese nationality. In Marshall, slaughter by Japanese troops was also raised. Some people just punished for entering their own farm confiscated by Japanese troops.
Pacific has also been tossed about as a nuclear testing ground by U.S. British and France. The episode is well-known that "the Rainbow Warrior" owned by Greenpeace which was later bombed by attack of French intelligence agencies and killed one photographer saved Rongerap residents of the Marshall to radioactive contamination. Well none other than Japan had once announced the plan to dump nuclear waste in the waters between the Ogasawara and Micronesia and had became the focus of intense opposition.
Many young Japanese people have been told only pleasant to the ear from the hype by the Fisheries Agency and whaling industry without correct knowledge about the past history, so the story would never boring for them. But, without understanding negative history of fisheries ODA, Japanese can not talk about the whaling issue. Just the same, without understanding the responsibility of Japanese whaling company and fisheries administration to overfish and deplete resource of marine mammals on the Antarctic sea.
■The Current ODA
The first place, major purpose of ODA is to contribute to improving economic development and welfare of developing countries. Restrictions by democracy and human rights situation and diversion to the military in the countries granted has set, the political intentions of the donor countries should not be "primary purpose". That clearly violates the principle of Charter, which of sovereignty, equality and noninterference in internal affairs on the United Nations, and it is also stipulated in the Japan's ODA Charter (revised 2003). It is unpardonable that practical use of ODA for the act equivalent to the egregious violations of national sovereignty such as tying in vote behavior at certain international treaties.
"Official Development Assistance (ODA) Charter" (MOFA)
In fact, it is undeniable that ODA has been used for political point. Other Western countries and international organizations as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the World Bank had a similar problem with assistance. Among the US-Soviet Cold War era, the strong tug of war between one side of the battle to win over with the aid camp especially. But now the Cold War had closed.
On the other hand, Japan's ODA have had a strong trait to supply businesses its own development consultants, general contractors, trading companies, and fisheries industry. So-called tied aid or aid with strings attached which help Japanese companies to limit the suppliers had made huge waste of tax without function the principle of competition and cost-conscious. Japan's ODA had also caused destruction life of local residents and precious natural environment due to large-scale development neglect of the local situation, which was often blamed at the international community. Now mainstream of ODA become untying and the rate of orders for Japanese companies passed down. However, fisheries ODA is an exception.
It is rumored about the problems of collusion between politicians and bureaucrats in poor governance countries. A typical example of this was the corruption scandal about ODA in Vietnam that the president and other executives of Japan's largest consulting firm Pacific Consultants International (PCI) indicted last year. Even before this incident to light, PCI ordered suspension of nominating ODA projects several times from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) because of improper conduct research pertaining to development. PCI took over a number of fisheries ODA projects such as construction of fisheries complex institution in Basseterre, St. Christopher Nevis and Augusto pro-whaling countries and Nevis (2000) and construction of the Melville Street fish market in Grenada (1999). In cases of Basseterre, PCI ordered to return 50 million yen (5,000 dollar) about as inadequate accounting procedures at the basic planning. It is pointed that the scandal of PCI is only a tip of the iceberg and corruption is something structural. The issue of uncertainty about Japan's public preparations are also discussed in detail later.
"Problem of ODA" (a blog by those involved in business, Japanese text only)
"Where are Public Prosecutors going?" (7/8/2008, JanJan, Japanese text only)
"Only PCI was bad or just exposed another facet of corruption in ODA structure?" (8/12/2008, AERA)
ODA just use to enrich officials demand bribes and non-democratic dictatorship, while the measures for poverty and gap makes slow progress and only the debt has swollen as many countries. At the Cologne Summit in 1999, measures for relief the debt to countries suffering from heavy debt was agreed, but the criticism "developed countries have still been saddled with debt to wipe out only the part of an irrecoverable bad debt, so just sham of advanced nations" held from outside.
There are challenges reviewing its approach such as improving transparency and efficiency of ODA. The Sector-Wide Approach (SWAps) is connect all donors; advanced nations and international organizations, countries provided aid and NGO and adjust each assistance project, and the Financial Assistance is aid considered the initiative of countries granted. At the International Forum in 2005, "Paris Declaration" was announced that held on the quality of aid was summarized to 5 items (1) own efforts, (2) political cooperation, (3) harmonization of aid, (4) development performance management, (5) mutual accountability.
Recent years in Japan, there are the criticism against aid to China, or the trend hummer out the national interest without hesitation under the pressure to reduce from tough financial circumstances. The word "Self-help" often use as a convenient "excuse" for no result without adequate validation whether citizens of their countries really need the aid. But that is not the way assistance ought to be for reversing the trend of the world.
Under such circumstances, fisheries ODA was the most outdated aid just to call "fossil ODA".
In next article, Japan's "Aid for Whaling" is more about to be discussed.
(2) Significant "Aid Inequality" Among Pro-whaling and Non Pro-whaling Countries
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