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

  • Draft law on state of emergency pending finalisation

    Prime Minister Hun Sen will lead a top-level meeting on Tuesdays to review the draft law on imposing a state of emergency. Meantime, he has decided to close all casinos in Cambodia effective April 1. In the press conference after the National Assembly met today, Hun

  • State of emergency on table amid pandemic

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, his deputy prime ministers and legal team will meet on Tuesday to review the draft law on declaring a state of emergency, as Covid-19 cases rose to 107 in the Kingdom on Monday. Speaking at a press conference after a parliament meeting

  • Stranded passengers petition UK for help

    Some 10,521 people have signed an online petition calling on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and relevant officials to fly nearly 200 passengers out of Cambodia. The petition is targeted at 15,000 people. Most of the passengers are British nationals, who are stranded in Cambodia after airlines cancelled

  • Many in limbo as tension heightens

    As the Kingdom restricts travel and prepares for a state of emergency, some foreigners in Cambodia are scrambling for a way home. Foreign embassies in Phnom Penh are making efforts to get their citizens out, but cancelled flights have become common due to the coronavirus

  • Covid-19 Pandemic: Force majeure and legal consequences

    Is the Covid-19 pandemic considered an event of force majeure? The World Health Organisation declared the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak a pandemic on March 11. Following this declaration, the Ministry of Health and other ministries have taken various legal and administrative measures to prevent the rapid

  • State of emergency draft law set for NA

    A draft law aiming to place the Kingdom in a state of emergency amid the Covid-19 pandemic is set for a debate at the National Assembly (NA) after going through the Council of Ministers’ Standing Committee meeting led by Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday.