Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Jica targets ‘soft components’ as next stage forward




Jica targets ‘soft components’ as next stage forward

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Free buses are another Japanese government contribution.

Jica targets ‘soft components’ as next stage forward

While Japan’s reconstruction efforts in Cambodia don’t appear to be slowing down even after nearly 30 years, they could take a different direction in the coming years.

Japan, which has been pumping in millions of dollars in assisting Cambodia since the end of the civil war period, largely to rebuild its rudimentary infrastructure, could shift its focus slightly.

“Soft components” or technical assistance will become the major thrust of Japan’s Overseas Development Aid – a major shift from its hard infrastructure policy that contributed to the Kingdom’s socioeconomic development since 1992.

“Our support has been changing from infrastructure to soft components. Now we have a new strategy, not only focusing on infrastructure but also on governance and soft components,” Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) representative in Cambodia Shinohara Yuji told The Post.

The activities of Jica – the executing agency of Japan’s development aid in foreign countries – have grown alongside Cambodia’s steady economic growth.

The agency’s support is seen, for instance, in healthcare and road and bridge construction, as well as agriculture and marine aquaculture.

“Our projects have solved many problems in Cambodia. For example, in removing landmines and unexploded ordnance, to the construction of symbolic bridges like the across to Chroy Changwar, the ‘Phnom Penh Miracle’ water supply project, to assisting the Ministry of Justice in designing the Civil Code, as well as supporting high quality agriculture,” Yuji said.

Another notable soft component project is the “community police”. Jica is working with the Ministry of Interior to promote “community police” in rural areas, a concept adopted from the Japanese “Koban” system.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Jica has been instrumental in promoting the marine aquaculture sector in the Kingdom.

“This project started in 2017 in Phnom Penh. It is to train civil officers. Japanese and Cambodian trainers will provide training for the police and train the trainers,” Yuji said.

It has a been “good journey” for almost three decades to assist in shaping Cambodia’s infrastructure demands to support the growing economy, he added.

“We have met around 70 per cent of our objectives and made good progress from water, [sea] port to agriculture. These projects have successfully contributed to Cambodia’s growth.

“These projects were implemented by both Cambodian and Japanese people. Jica considers capacity development as most important concept. We are therefore proud that capacity development is the most important factor to contribute to sustainable and rapid growth of Cambodia after the civil war,” Yuji said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Tourists urged not to skip trip

    The Ministry of Tourism has called on international tourists not to cancel trips to Cambodia, but urged them to adhere to several dos and don’ts when arriving in the Kingdom during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry released an eight-point instruction manual on Wednesday published

  • The taxman cometh – Cambodia’s capital gains tax casts the net on individual taxpayers

    In a country where only limited personal income tax existed, the new taxation law beginning January 1, 2021, will make taxpayers out of Cambodians, whether they are ready for it or not About two years ago, a little known amendment was made to Article 7 of the Law

  • Cambodian-American gets Star Trek treatment

    Kevin Ung, a Cambodian-American whose family escaped genocide during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror, was recently selected from thousands of applicants to participate in the Television Academy Foundation’s inaugural 2020 Star Trek Command Training Programme, a course intended to give hands-on filmmaking experience

  • Cambodia seeks to be transport hub

    Cambodia is working on several fronts to modernise its transport infrastructure and services, concentrating on opening new international gates to relieve and balance traffic congestion at its borders, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said on Thursday. This is part of the Kingdom’

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • Singapore Fintech start-up enters Sihanoukville

    Singapore-based fintech start-up Fincy on Wednesday announced the expansion of its cashless payment system to Sihanoukville to tap into the southwestern coastal city’s ever-widening business and investment landscape. The move is in line with the National Bank of Cambodia’s (NBC’s) recommendations to