Reposted from The Himalayan Times
By Lekhanath Pandey
KATHMANDU: Nepal and Japan were to sign two agreements – MoU on the Japanese food-aid programme and exchange of letters relating to stre-ngthening the Election Co-mmission in Nepal – in the course of Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba’s brief visit on Saturday.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Japanese Embassy today separately announced the visit of Gemba, who is set to touch down in Kathmandu at 10 pm, Saturday and leave Nepal for New Delhi at 3 pm of Sunday.
“Agreements on the Japanese food aid programme — KR-2 and strengthening the election commission are going to be finalised during the visit,” said a senior official at MoFA. Arjun Bahadur Thapa, MoFA spokesperson, confirmed that the agreement on food-aid will be signed while on the election support issue, he chose to be silent.
According to sources, as per the KR-2 agreement, Nepal would receive a financial support of 250 million Yen per annum for the food productivity growth. Computers, voter’s box among things were included for election commission.
“Japan extended similar support to Nepal during the election of the Constituent Assembly, and is ready to repeat the same in upcoming elections as well,” said the MoFA official.
Similarly, the government has decided to seek Japanese aid for the construction of Upper Seti hydropower project (144 MW), based in Tanahun district, which costs an estimated amount of $300-$350 million. “It’s on our agenda,” said a government secretary.
Gemba will be the highest Japanese official to visit Nepal since the visit of the then Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori in August 2000. During his 16 hours stay, Gemba would hold bilateral talks with his Nepali counterpart Narayan Kaji Shrestha, and call on all top government figures, including the President, Vice President, Prime Minister. He will also meet other dignitaries and political leaders, according to a MoFA statement.
In the course of the parlays, he would reiterate Japan’s continued support to Nepal for its ongoing peace process and efforts towards achieving economic progress and infrastructure development, said an official at the Prime Minister’s Office.
Photo Credits: Asian Tribune