Eyes of Japan offering 30 bil. Yen loans in Mauritius after the oil spill
Japan plans to offer 30 billion yen ($ 289 million) in loans to Mauritius following a major oil spill in July off its coast caused by a Japanese cargo ship, the foreign minister said on Sunday. Toshimitsu Motegi during a visit to this Indian Ocean country.
Speaking after talks with Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth and Foreign Minister Nandcoomar Bodha, Motegi said Japan will also start providing technical support to restore the Mauritian environment and the local fishing industry to starting next month.
Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi (right) and Prime Minister of Mauritius Pravind Jugnauth in Port Louis, Mauritius, December 13, 2020 (Photo provided by Japanese Foreign Ministry) (Kyodo)
Motegi said Japan would “positively consider” responding to Mauritius’ demand for yen loans to help it recover from the oil spill and grow its economy, which has also been affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“Japan hopes to implement concrete cooperation measures at an unprecedented speed and scale,” Motegi told reporters online from Mauritius, after inspecting a coastal area damaged by the oil spill.
In addition, Japan will also provide assistance of 600 million yen to Mauritius to help it in its disaster risk reduction efforts, including providing alarm devices and measuring instruments to deal with cyclones and storms. sea level rise, Motegi said at a joint press conference with Bodha earlier today.
Tokyo is working on compiling an aid plan for Port Louis after Motegi promised Jugnauth by phone in September to provide long-term assistance, including support for the local fishing industry and restoration of the damaged mangroves.
Japan has since sent a team of experts to Mauritius to develop the package.
“I hope that Mauritius recovers its beautiful surroundings as soon as possible and that it overcomes the coronavirus pandemic to regain a prosperous economy and livelihoods,” Motegi told the joint press.
The Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd. and owned by Nagashiki Shipping Co., ran aground off the southeast coast of Mauritius on July 25, spilling more than 1,000 tonnes of oil into the pristine environment.
Motegi, who became Japan’s first foreign minister to visit Mauritius, said Japan will send a mission of companies and government officials to the country in February to boost bilateral investment and business.
Mauritius was the final stop on Motegi’s seven-day African tour of four countries which also took him to Tunisia, Mozambique and South Africa, with a focus on strengthening trade cooperation in a context of China’s growing influence on the resource-rich continent.
In each of the four African countries he visited, Motegi urged cooperation to achieve a free and open Indo-Pacific based on the rule of law, freedom of navigation and free trade, and gained their understanding , the ministry said.
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