Japan pledges $7.4 bil ODA in Mekong relations

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Japan on Saturday announced official development assistance worth nearly US$7.4 billion for Greater Mekong Sub-region countries to develop their telecom facilities and modernize customs systems.

The pledge came at the fourth Japan-Mekong Summit held from April 20 to 22 in Tokyo, and is part of the "Tokyo Strategy for Mekong-Japan Cooperation," according to a statement on Vietnam's government website.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and leaders from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand attended the meeting chaired by Japanese PM Yoshihiko Noda.

Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra pledged to provide more than $10.8 million for the program.

The summit also reviewed implementation of the Mekong-Japan Economic and Industrial Cooperation Initiative and the Green Mekong Initiative, and discussed economic aid to Myanmar.

The summit follows the third Mekong-Japan Summit in Bali, Indonesia, last November which focused on responses to natural disaster and management of water resources.

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