Subject: Japan To Help Train E Timor's Military

also Japan To Help Train Etimor's Military

Japan Times

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

East Timor leader acknowledges aid

Staff report

Japanese aid for infrastructure-building is vital to the development of East Timor, the Southeast Asian country's prime minister, Xanana Gusmao, said Tuesday in Tokyo.

Gusmao and his team of Cabinet members, in Japan as guests of the government, acknowledged that the global economic turmoil has cast a shadow on the development of the island state. Expanding sectors other than oil and attracting foreign investment through improved infrastructure are key to the economy's rebound, they said.

"We are very grateful for the Japanese government for their continued support," Gusmao told a news conference at the Japan National Press Club, acknowledging Japan's ¥15 billion in aid since the country gained independence in 2002.

Speaking with Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone on Monday, Gusmao welcomed Japan's proposal to dispatch a team of inspectors to East Timor to help in the building of infrastructure.

Prime Minister Taro Aso agreed on a plan Monday to cooperate in training police officers in East Timor. Japan will accept exchange students at the National Defense Academy.

"As a new country, we face difficulties which are natural and common in postconflict countries," Gusmao told reporters, while reiterating his commitment to nurturing democracy.

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Japan To Help Train Etimor's Military: Media

TOKYO, March 9 (AFP) -- East Timor's Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao on Monday asked Japan to help train its military and support it during natural disasters and epidemics, officials and news reports said.

Gusmao, on a four-day visit to Japan, met Defence Minister Yasukazu Hamada ahead of scheduled evening meetings with Prime Minister Taro Aso and Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone, Japanese government officials said.

During his talks with Hamada, Gusmao asked Japan to help train military officers in his country so that the East Timor armed forces can better work with UN peacekeeping troops there, Jiji Press said.

Hamada replied that Tokyo intends to accept East Timor military officers and have them attend a programme for peacekeeping studies at the National Defense Academy in Tokyo, the news agency said.

Hamada also told Gusmao that Tokyo wants to provide "as much cooperation as possible" to support East Timor in case of natural disasters and to fight infectious diseases, it said.

Japan, despite its post-World War II pacifist constitution, sent peacekeepers to East Timor after the half-island country won independence from Indonesia in 2002 following a bloody conflict.

Tokyo, a major financial supporter to East Timor, has also sent election monitors to the country, which was occupied by imperial Japan during WWII.

Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975 and ruled the former Portuguese colony with a brutal grip until 1999, when the United Nations took charge. The nation eventually won independence in 2002.


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