the Minutes of Committee on Oversight of Administration
¨¨Also see "the
Minutes of Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence"
Diet of Japan
Q. Ms. Fukushima, Member of the House of Councillors.
Thank you very much. First of all, I would like to request that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reexamine the rules and principles of the ODA since it is now worldly debated on Japanfs ways to deal with the ODA, which are totally different from those of other countries.
Secondly, I have some questions with regard to the ODA project in Kenya. It came to my attention that numbers of the residents who had been participating in the meeting on the Sondu Miriu Hydropower Plant Project were arrested in February 2000, and that some Japanese reporters who had been gathering information were confined temporarily together with those local residents. According to these reporters, the car in which they were taken to the police station was of the Kounoike Group, a Japanese corporation that had been awarded the order.
Moreover, I have heard that Kenyan NGO members who raise environmental concerns have been assaulted and shot by the security guards of the Kounoike Group at the site that local people are freely passing by, and got arrested eventually. They were charged for a criminal offense, I heard that their trials are still ongoing.
It is my opinion that the Hydropower Plant Project should not be carried out further until these problems in Kenya settle in a definite manner. What would be the Ministerfs point of view on this regard?
A. Ms. Tanaka, Minister of Foreign Affairs..
In the numerous committee meetings, the issues that Ms. Fukushima has just raised were discussed using some picture-exhibits. These discussions include the negative environmental impacts caused by the project that the NGOs had pointed out. I am sorry for the repetitive nature of my answer; however, good communications with the Kenyan parties in order to reach a favorable result should be urged. The Project was commenced in a pursuit of positive effects on the region and the country. The process to get to this result may be full of various problems; however, I hope that the project will reach the goal set initially. I have just given an advice to the Chief of the Bureau that direct, physical, and more responsible investigations of the site by the Embassy officials
should be taken the place of telephone investigations on the current problems. Moreover, I have suggested to him that the NGO members, members of the JOCV(Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers), and other parties concerned have an occasion to meet in a hearing.
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