Thinking of Japan's ODA
I was on the taxi going to Jordan's old city "Salt". A guy next to me asked "Are you Japanese?
Konnichiwa.Nice to meet you. You know? Salt where we are heading for is
a beautiful historic city. I used to work for JICA, Japan International
Cooperation Agency, in Salt"
Later as walking around the city of world heritage, I saw a lot of signboards
which the name of JICA was on were set in the city. So as long as you follow
the signs, you could tour the historical sites quite effectively with detailed
descriptions. Most of the historical architectures were also beautifully
renovated. I could look over yellowish Ottoman style houses which stuck
on the hillside from another hill top. "That's beautiful, huh?"
I talked to a boy riding a bike beside me. He nodded with full of pride.
I felt like proud of that too because I knew Japanese ODA, Official Development
Assistance, took an important role for conserving the beautiful ancient
Not only for Jordan, I saw many water towers which were written "Japan"
even in small town in Africa for instance. I remember residents in the
small villages thanked to Japanese doctor in a public hospital.
So I'm sorry to hear Japanese people say cut off the Japanese ODA budget
in the severe recession. They must regard it as a wasting our tax. It's
hard to make sense how it's important assist a developing country, especially
for the people who have never seen the actual site. It's a same as saying
"We don't need museum 'cos I'm not interested in art" or "I
don't read a book so much. So we don't need library"
Meanwhile, I heard that a number of applicant for Japan Overseas Cooperation
Volunteer is sharply dropped in recent years. Well, it's easy to understand.
In this economic situation, it might be very hard find a job after you
come back to Japan. Usually the missions are on temporary contract base.
Government must say "You can get a wonderful experience which will
be advantage rest of your career" However I want ask how many Japanese
companies evaluate the experience and hire them. Under the economical depression,
Japanese government made a statement for the employer to hire the workers
on permanent status. Nevertheless the Japanese ODA workers are hired as
temporary task forces with two year contract.
The workers who have worked for a certain country with passion, deeply
committed to the people, are fired with accomplishing the period. Besides
an elite who doesn't have any relationship to the country newly takes a
role in the local Japanese embassy. Add to that their status is stable
and permanent. It's illogical or what?
Oh. I should not have put such a barren story on this beautiful portrait of Salt. Little regret.
" Backyard 1 " Salt, Jordan 2010