JICA: Japan to stop aid if corruption found

Source: Pano feed

Tu Giang

Mori Mutsuya (R), chief representative of JICA in Vietnam, speaks at a press conference in Hanoi on April 1 - PHOTO: TG

Mori Mutsuya (R), chief representative of JICA in Vietnam, speaks at a press conference in Hanoi on April 1 - PHOTO: TG

Mutsuya told a news briefing in Hanoi on April 1 that JICA wanted the high-profile JTC graft case to be the last related to the projects financed by Japan’s aid in Vietnam because if there is yet another case emerging, the Japanese taxpayers would force their government to suspend ODA for Vietnam.

Mutsuya issued the warning when he fielded questions at the news briefing about Japan’s response to bribery allegations in connection with the Japan Transportation Consultants Inc. (JTC) in a railway project in Vietnam.

In March last year, Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun reported that JTC President Tamio Kakinuma had admitted paying kickbacks to civil servants in Vietnam, Indonesia and Uzbekistan in return for five ODA projects. This company was suspected of having paid the illegal payments to five government employees, including a senior official of an office responsible for project administration at Vietnam Railways.

Vietnam took quick action to launch a probe into the bribery allegations. The Government and relevant agencies have cooperated with the Japanese side over the case, and suspended a number of officials.

Years ago, graft was also detected in two Japanese-funded projects – the East-West Highway project in HCMC and PMU 18, a project management unit under the Ministry of Transport.

Yamamoto Kenichi, deputy chief representative of JICA in Vietnam, said for the JTC case, the agency is working with Vietnam’s ministries of planning-investment and finance to set up an independent supervision mechanism to detect possible irregularities at Japanese ODA-funded projects.

Asked about the public concern about the burden of ODA loans on the country, Mutsuya said he agreed with National Assembly deputies’ views that heavy dependence on ODA loans is a failure of the country’s development strategy.

However, Mutsuya is uncertain whether Vietnam can stop relying on ODA loans in the next 10 or 20 years, as the country has benefited from this source of low-interest loans for two decades.

Mutsuya believed the quality of projects implemented by Japanese contractors is better than that of those carried out by contractors from some other countries. Moreover, Japan has transferred modern technologies to Vietnam through Nhat Tan Bridge and metro projects.

He mentioned the efficiency of Japanese ODA loans for a number of infrastructure projects in Vietnam, including the second passenger terminal (T2) at Noi Bai International Airport and Nhat Tan Bridge in Hanoi.

JICA is now involved in more than 150 projects in Vietnam using technical grants and loans of Japan.

Japan has signed official agreements on ODA loans totaling 82.6 billion yen in fiscal 2014. The amount was 165.6 billion yen in 2013.

Mutsuya said in 2015 Japan would manage to provide Vietnam with the same ODA amount as in 2013.

Đăng ký: VietNam News