APDA The Asian Population and Development AssociationAPDA The Asian Population and Development Association

APDA/JPFP JPFP Meeting:UNFPA and IPPF Activity Report

13 July 2023, Tokyo Japan

The United Nations recognizes 11 July as the World Population Day. Taking that occasion, on 13 July, the Japan Parliamentarians Federation for Population (JPFP) held a meeting, in which the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) reported on their activities funded by the Japanese government. At the beginning, Hon. Kamikawa Yoko, Chair of JPFP, gave her opening remarks, stating that when a proposal had been made for a substantial reduction in the Japanese government’s budget appropriations for UNFPA and IPPF in the past years, the reduction was averted due to the efforts and support of JPFP as a champion of international cooperation. She then requested both organizations to continue to demonstrate evidence-based results.

From UNFPA, Ms. Arakaki Shoko, Director of Humanitarian Response Division, emphasized the importance of the leadership of Japan, the world’s second largest donor of UNFPA humanitarian assistance, and reported on projects around the world, especially their response to gender-based violence (GBV) and maternal mortality. From IPPF, Ms. Fukuda Tomoko, Regional Director of East, South East Asia and Oceania Region (ESEAOR), reported on the increasing need for humanitarian assistance in recent years and IPPF’s humanitarian assistance programmes in various countries and regions including Ukraine, funded by the supplementary budget from the Japanese government. The two organizations expressed their gratitude to JPFP for their ongoing support, and submitted a written request to Hon. Kamikawa and other JPFP members for their further backing to increase Japan’s contributions in the population field for the next fiscal year.

During the Q&A session, Hon. Makihara Hideki, who serves as Secretary-General of the Japan-African Union (AU) Parliamentary Friendship League, pointed out the current situations where the voices of African countries that genuinely need humanitarian assistance are not easily heard. He then asked how parliamentarians can help in ways other than financial contributions. In response, Ms. Arakaki answered that Japan is relatively politically neutral and has fostered trust with the AU, so it is expected to play a part in peacebuilding such as peace negotiations. Hon. Odawara Kiyoshi stated that after listening to today’s meeting, he keenly realized that men have many things to reflect on and that he would like to put more effort into addressing gender equality.

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