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June 9, 2004

Uz: JICA organizes press tour

From: Central Asian and Southern Caucasus Freedom of Expression Network (CASCFEN), Azerbaijan - Jun 9, 2004

UzReport, Tashkent, 09 Jun 2004 -- Japanese International Cooperation Agency office in Uzbekistan organised a press tour for journalists of Uzbekistan on 4 June.

The tour participants visited Uzbek-Japanese Centre, World Vision Japan (where JICA is undertaking a partnership project on HIV/AIDS prevention), Association of Hearing Impaired (project on preparation of translators for boarding schools for hearing impaired) and the school for visually impaired children (where one of Japanese volunteers is currently working).

Volunteers of Japanese Youth Corps for Foreign Cooperation and alumni of the Japanese Human Resource Development Scholarship (JDS) presented to journalists some of the projects implemented by JICA.

Japanese Agency for International Cooperation was established in 1974 and currently operates in more than 150 countries, with over 90 representative offices worldwide.

Uzbekistan has been receiving official aid for development from Japan since 1993, however, JICA was accredited in the country only five years ago.

Uzbek-Japanese Human Resource Development Centre has been operating in Tashkent since October 2000, organising business courses, teaching Japanese, assisting information and cultural exchange between the two countries. The centre is one of the largest projects of JICA and the Agency for Foreign Economic Relations (AFER) of Uzbekistan.

Since recently the centre has been organising seminars in all regions of Uzbekistan. The centre offers not only paid courses on business, computer literacy and Japanese language, but also free courses, such as ikebana, calligraphy, origami, tea ceremony, Japanese cuisine and national games.

Occupying a territory of 800 sq. metres, the centre was equipped by the Japanese side for a total sum of US$1.2 million. Presently 4 experts, 1 Japanese volunteer and 19 local staff are working here.

A total of 7 million visitors have used the centre's facilities since it was launched.

© 2003-2004 CASCFEN.