Secretary General of the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation Saleh Kharabsheh discussed with President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Akihito Tanaka ways to forge closer ties between Jordan and Japan in the economic and social fields.
Kharabsheh said Jordan attaches major importance to its relations with Japan, adding that both countries are enthusiastic about boosting bilateral ties in the political, economic, cultural and social fields.
He noted that from 1999 through March 2014 Jordan received $764.4 million from Japan, including $430 million in the form of grants and the remainder as soft loans, in addition to technical aid provided to Jordan through JICA.
Kharabsheh said this aid included training 2200 Jordanian staff and dispatching 1400 volunteers and experts to work at Jordanian institutions.
Total aid provided to Jordan by Japan since cooperation started between the two countries stands at $3.8 billion.
Also, the secretary general briefed the JICA president on the challenges and hardships facing the Jordanian economy due to the current unrest in the region, in addition to the political, social and economic challenges facing the Kingdom as a result of hosting more than 640,000 Syrian refugees.
Tanaka said the Japanese government was interested in increasing cooperation with Jordan and continuing its financial and technical support to the Kingdom.
This year, JICA provided a loan to Jordan worth $120 million to support its budget, in addition to $25 million to carry out a water program in the northern governorate hosting Syrian refugees.
The agency also offered another $7.5 million to provide medical equipment to the Ministry of Health and Prince Hamzah Hospital.