Regional Outlook, Global Perspective


The Mainichi-Oct 9

Japan pledged Monday to give 900 million yen ($8 million) toward removing unexploded bombs in Laos that were scattered there during the Vietnam War and

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a press briefing with Laotian counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith in Tokyo that he hopes the humanitarian project will help boost development in the region.

An estimated 80 million bombs dropped by the U.S. military in the 1960s and 1970s remain throughout the Southeast Asian country.

The project, which will run through 2020, will cover the southern provinces of Sekong, Salavan and Champasack and increase the number of unexploded ordnances that are removed yearly from 29,000 in 2017 to 35,000, according to Japan’s Foreign Ministry.

Sisoulith, who is on a Tokyo visit to attend a summit between Japan and five Southeast Asian nations — Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam — expressed gratitude for the financial aid, while Abe thanked the Laos government for donations for recovery efforts from flash floods that hit western Japan in July.

An agreement on the bomb removal project was signed by Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and his Laotian counterpart Saleumxay Kommasith.


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