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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 July 29 - August 4  > Local protest wins cancellation of Japan’s ODA-funded development program in Mozambique
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2020 July 29 - August 4 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Local protest wins cancellation of Japan’s ODA-funded development program in Mozambique

July 29, 2020
The Japanese government has decided to cancel its official development assistance project in Mozambique which has been criticized for creating social divisions in the country. This was recently disclosed by the Foreign Ministry to Japanese Communist Party parliamentarian Inoue Satoshi.

Inoue has repeatedly taken up this controversial project in the Diet, demanding its cancellation.

The project, which started in 2011, aims to introduce large-scale farming in Mozambique whose agriculture mainly depends on small farmers and create major production bases of commercial crops for export, such as soybeans. So far, 3.5 billion yen of Japanese taxpayers’ money has been spent on the project. On the other hand, local farmers’ groups strongly object that Japan’s development scheme will lead to robbing small farmers of their land.

Following investigations by Japanese civil organizations concerned about the issue and studying the documents they obtained, it was revealed that the Japan International Cooperation Agency, which undertakes the ODA project, hired local coordinators to carry out a maneuver to divide and control Mozambican citizens.

In Mozambique, the country’s bar association filed with an administrative court a lawsuit claiming that Japan’s ODA-funded project infringes on local people’s constitutional right to information, and won a complete victory in the legal battle in 2018.

Commenting on the cancellation of the project in Mozambique, Inoue said that he worked hard to stop the controversial scheme by such means as having talks with Mozambican farmers when they visited Japan, taking up the voices of local protesters in the Diet, and organizing rallies in the Diet building with other parties’ lawmakers. He stressed that it was thanks to the tenacious efforts made by farmers and related NGOs that pushed the government to give up the development plan.

Past related articles:
> JCP Inoue urges government to review ODA-funded agriculture development program in Mozambique [April 1, 2019]
> Japanese firms’ infrastructure export provokes negative consequences [July 21, 2015]
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