Subject: Japan will boost aid to E. Timorese refugees

Received from Joyo Indonesian News

Koizumi tells Gusmao Japan will boost aid to refugees

TOKYO, Jan. 29 (Kyodo) Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi told East Timorese independence leader Xanana Gusmao on Tuesday that Japan will increase its financial aid to East Timorese refugees by $1 million.

Koizumi told Gusmao that Japan will provide the $1 million to the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation, an independent organization in East Timor, according to a Foreign Ministry official who attended the meeting at the premier's official residence.

Established earlier this month, the commission will work for two years to document human rights violations committed in East Timor between April 1974 and October 1999 as well as facilitate community reconciliation in the former Portuguese colony.

About 200,000 East Timorese are estimated to have died in that period in fighting between rival political parties in the mid-1970s and then during Indonesia's occupation.

Japan's donation will cover a portion of the total expenditures of $3.5 million required to fund the commission's activities for the next two years.

During the 20-minute meeting, Koizumi told Gusmao that Japan is also considering providing financial aid to help house returnees to East Timor from Indonesia, although the amount has yet to be determined, the official said.

The plan to provide the $1 million came after Japan offered $5.39 million to the Indonesian government in a bid to assist East Timorese refugees.

Koizumi told Gusmao that members of Japan's Self-Defense Forces (SDF) will be sent to East Timor in March mainly to help set up facilities and equipment necessary to create new communities.

Gusmao, who is here at the Japanese government's invitation, welcomed the plan to dispatch the SDF and said he hopes the SDF staff help not only ensure security but also assist in building a new nation in East Timor, according to the official.

Gusmao also invited Koizumi to a ceremony slated for May 20 to celebrate the independence of East Timor, the official said.

Koizumi was quoted as telling Gusmao he was unsure if he would be able to attend, but would send a governmental representative if he is unable to make it.

Back to January menu
World Leaders Contact List
Human Rights Violations in East Timor
Main Postings Menu

Note: For those who would like to fax "the powers that be" - CallCenter is a Native 32-bit Voice Telephony software application integrated with fax and data communications... and it's free of charge! Download from