APDA/JPFP Japan Parliamentarians Federation for Population (JPFP) meeting9 December 2022, Tokyo, Japan
On 9 December, JPFP held an Afghanistan Support PT Meeting with Dr. Masaru Murakami, Chair of Peshawar-kai, as a lecturer. The meeting was moderated by Hon. Hitoshi Kikawada, Secretary General of JPFP. In her opening remarks, JPFP Chair Hon. Yoko Kamikawa said, “I hope this meeting will offer a platform for us to follow up on this issue and think about the role we can play to help the Afghan people move toward self-reliance”.
Dr. Murakami introduced the activities of the Peshawar-kai and explained that Dr. Tetsu Nakamura emphasized the following points in his irrigation projects: (1) Simple equipment should be used for the irrigation; (2) Implement the projects without much cost; (3) Make sure that anyone in the community with a certain level of knowledge can carry out the projects; (4) Use local materials and bring in as little as possible that is not available locally; (5) Ensure that even if the system breaks down, local people are able to fix it; and (6) “Trust is not built overnight; it is the sincerity of not betraying back when betrayed that touches people’s hearts. Trust provides stronger security than force, and that can move people”.
In the following Q&A session, Hon. Gen Nakatani asked if the Japanese Embassy in Afghanistan could help. A representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) responded that the operations have resumed on a very limited basis and that they are keeping the number of embassy personnel to a minimum. Hon. Ichiro Aisawa, Senior Vice Chair of JPFP, asked if he was correct in his interpretation that we do what we can regardless of whether the Taliban regime is recognized or not. Dr. Daisaku Higashi, Professor of Sophia University, responded that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states consider it pragmatic to do what they can with the Taliban, because there is no alternative government. In response to Hon. Tomoko Abe’s question regarding the issues surrounding financial sanctions, it was explained that in the past there was a problem of not being able to make remittance even for humanitarian assistance, but due to the efforts by Hon. Kikawada and MOFA, a route has been secured for sending money to Afghanistan for humanitarian purposes.