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

INTERVIEW

The future of our world depends on Africa achieving sustainable growth, as an engine of the world, amid rapid population increase in the region.

Member of the House of Representatives
Senior Vice-Chair of JPFP
Hon. Ichiro Aisawa https://www.aisawa.net/

The future of our world depends on Africa achieving sustainable growth, as an engine of the world, amid rapid population increase in the region. This means that it is important to assist African countries through ODA and the TICAD process as well as build a win-win relation between Japan and Africa as business partners. In this regard, we already have had tangible results from Japan’s private-sector involvement.

Otowa Electric, for example, provided lightning rods and lightning protection systems in a JICA project in Rwanda, where many are killed or injured by lightning, and saved many lives and prevented numerous injuries. Saraya promotes hand washing in Uganda to contribute to better hygiene; Toyota Tsusho supports long-term growth of Africa through its operations there; and Stripe International, an apparel company based in Okayama City, has a production base in Ethiopia. As Chair of the Japan-AU Parliamentary Friendship League, I am also working with JICA and the business community to assist Africa on many fronts.

If we turn our attention to my local district, Okayama Prefecture and Okayama City are known as “SDGs Advanced Prefecture” and “SDGs Future City”, respectively, for their leading SDGs initiatives.

In particular, Okayama University was chosen as the winner of the Special Award in the 1st Japan SDGs Award (recipients selected by the SDGs Promotion Headquarters, which is presided over by the Prime Minister), and the geography and history club at Sanyo Girls’ Junior and Senior High School in Okayama City won the same award in the 2nd Japan SDGs Award.

The advanced level of collaboration between municipalities, firms, and local citizens in Okayama is now well-recognized. I work with local citizens and communities including young people and schools to further arouse interest in these global issues.

Interviewed in September 2020

※The titles shown are those held at the time of interview.

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