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Japan and FAO reaffirm their commitment to expand and deepen their partnership


31/01/2019 - 

During intensive three days, and in an appreciative and collaborative atmosphere, FAO and the Government of Japan reviewed the progress of their partnership and discussed common priorities and new humanitarian and development projects for the year ahead. 

On 31 January, at FAO headquarters in Rome, the Third Annual Strategic Consultation between FAO and Japan, represented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), took place. The Japanese delegation was led by Mr Hiroki Takabayashi, Director of the Economic Security Division, MOFA, and Mr Yoshihiro Kuraya, Director for International Agricultural Organizations, MAFF. FAO was represented by Mr Daniel Gustafson, Deputy Director-General (Programmes) and Mr Roberto Ridolfi, Assistant Director-General, Programme Support and Technical Cooperation Department. The Annual Strategic Consultation was preceded by a two-day Annual Review Meeting between FAO and MAFF on their Cooperative Programme.

The annual meetings took place against the backdrop of rising food insecurity in the world, propelled by climate change and protracted crises. FAO and Japan recognized the centrality of food and agriculture in finding effective, inclusive and sustainable solutions to these challenges, and in achieving the goals set in the 2030 Agenda. They also acknowledged the need for decisive and joint action from the international community, combining the strengths of the United Nations System and key partners such as Japan.

Among the priorities for cooperation in the coming year, Japan and FAO emphasized the G20 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting to be held under the Japanese Presidency in Niigata on 11-12 May, and the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7) in Yokohama on 28-30 August 2019. Other thematic priorities discussed included agricultural investment and youth employment, nutrition and food systems with a focus on food loss and waste, and the humanitarian-development-peace nexus. 

On the occasion of the Strategic Consultation, Japan and FAO also held a signing ceremony, attended by the Ambassador of Japan to Italy and Permanent Representative to FAO, Keiichi Katakami, and FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, on a new USD 8 million project bound to provide agricultural livelihoods support to highly food-insecure households in Yemen. This project will be funded under Japan’s Grant Aid scheme. 

A growing partnership

The Annual Strategic Consultation between FAO and Japan started in 2017, originating from a mutual interest in renewing and strengthening relations.

In 2018, Japan provided voluntary contributions of USD 35.2 million  - the highest amount since 2014 - and is currently supporting almost 40 ongoing humanitarian and development projects across the world. 2018 was also marked by increasing communication and collaboration between FAO and Japan at various levels, and with various stakeholders, including the Government, Parliamentarians, the private sector, civil society and academia.

This growing partnership reflects Japan’s increasing recognition of the importance of FAO’s activities to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). FAO’s work under its Regular Programme was rated “A” (highest on the scale) in Japan’s 2018 edition of the annual assessment of international organizations, for the second consecutive year.