Afghans need foreign assistance: Japan
TOKYO (PAN): Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said on Sunday Afghanistan was a war-devastated country that could not resolve its domestic problems without international assistance, promising Tokyo would continue to assist Kabul beyond 2014, the deadline for foreign troop pullout.
In his opening remarks at an international conference on Afghanistan’s future and reconstruction in Japan’s capital, Noda said financial aid was a matter of mutual trust and bilateral commitments, and such an opportunity should be availed by all Afghans, including militants.
The Japanese prime minister asked the Karzai-led administration to ensure Afghanistan’s reconstruction through good governance, saying the international community would back Kabul’s efforts at maintaining security after 2014.
Expressing his pleasure over the gains Afghanistan had achieved over the past decade, Noda said Afghans after passing through decades of turmoil were finally able to initiate efforts at securing peace in their country.
“There has been a lot of progress with regard to nation building in Afghanistan and the country has reached a stage where it is going to assume the security responsibility on its own,” the Japanese leader remarked.
Acknowledging the threats facing Afghanistan, Noda said there was no doubt that an enabling environment had been created for the country’s reconstruction during the last decade. “We see many signs of peace and hope, so we can sow the flowers of reconstruction in Afghanistan.”
Noda said the Tokyo conference enabled aid-giving countries to renew their promises toward rebuilding Afghanistan. He recalled that when Japan was turned into ruins during the World War II, it was not possible to put the country on the path to economic development without foreign assistance. Therefore, he added, he was keenly interested in foreign aid for Afghanistan’s rehabilitation.
Participants at the Tokyo conference will announce political and financial assistance to Afghanistan until the end of the security transition process by 2014 and during the transformation decade (2015-25).
The conference’s strategy is to enable Afghanistan to stand on its own feet during the decade, with organisers saying Afghanistan has to honour its pledges on good governance and accountability.