Prime Minister of Japan,
South Africa; Johannesburg
Your Excellencies Heads of State and Government,
I come to Johannesburg to join other distinguished world leaders in addressing the challenge of defining what must be done in order to ensure sustainable development for all. Our world is filled with harsh realities. Conflicts continue incessantly on the Earth. Still, we must determine the key factors in ensuring sustainable development once peace is achieved. I believe that the answer is "People."
Japan, a country poor in natural resources, has grown to be what it is today on the strength of its human resources. It has attached paramount importance to education as the basis of development.
My government, together with Japanese non-governmental organizations, has proposed that the United Nations declare a "Decade of Education for Sustainable Development". We shall provide no less than 250 billion yen in education assistance over a five-year period.
Health is just as essential as education for people to realize their potential. Dr. Hideyo Noguchi, the Japanese bacteriologist, moved to Ghana in 1927 and devoted himself to research on yellow fever, in the end succumbing to that very disease. We wish to realize the ideals and dreams of Dr. Noguchi through Japan's assistance in the medical and health sectors.
The key to self-reliance is earning for oneself. Promotion of trade is crucial for developing countries. Japan shall step up its assistance for trade-related capacity building. At the same time, we will examine the expansion of coverage under duty-free and quota-free treatment for LDCs' products by revising tariff-related laws for the next fiscal year. Investment is another major driving force for economic development. We are taking the lead in WTO investment-rule making and supporting international investment promotion centers.
To help heavily-indebted poor countries implement sound policies, Japan has contributed more than a quarter of the G-8's contribution under the Enhanced HIPC Initiative.
Japan wants to share with Africa and the rest of the world the experiences of Asia. As an excellent example of the combined efforts of Africans and Asians, Japan intends to promote greater use among African farmers of NERICA (New Rice for Africa), a hybrid combining the benefits of African and Asian rice.
Japan has decided to extend emergency food aid amounting to 30 million US dollars to save children in southern Africa from famine.