Japan Supports UXO Clearance Efforts in Laos
The Government of Japan has extended grant assistance worth US$570,662 for Mechanical Cluster Submunition Clearance in Xieng Khuang, one of most UXO contaminated provinces in Laos.
The signing ceremony for the grant contract for this project was held at the Japanese Embassy on Aug 15 between Japanese ambassador to Laos Takeshi Hikihara, and President of the Japan Mine Action Service (JMAS) Ryuichiro Arakawa. The signing event was witnessed by Embassy officials and JMAS staff concerned.
JMAS is a Japanese non-profit organization that has been actively engaged in UXO clearance activities in the Lao PDR since 2005.
The project aims to contribute to securing a safety living environment and rural development in Xieng Khuang by accelerating UXO clearance with Cluster Submunition Clearance Machines (CSCM).
The objective of the project is also to accelerate UXO clearance by establishing Standard Operating Procedures of CSCM.
In developing the Standard Operating Procedures, selection of clearance areas, effective operation procedures, and safety management are main topics for consideration in order to maximize the clearance capacity of CSCM.
It is hoped that this project will help UXO Laos to accelerate UXO-clearance operations in the Lao PDR in the medium and long-term.
JMAS implemented many UXO projects in Xieng Khuang from 2005-2009, in Saravan in 2011, Attapeu and Champassak from 2011-2013, and in Vientiane Capital in 2014-2015.
Japan, fully aware of the importance of UXO issues, prioritizes this issue in its ODA policy towards the Lao PDR.
Japan has placed particular emphasis on UXO-clearance operations through funding, technical assistance, capacity building, and by providing necessary equipment such as detectors and bush-cutters.
Japan has also supported UXO-related risk education and the medical treatment of UXO victims.