Japanese Ambassador: more evidence in PCI case being uncovered

Published: 04/12/2008 05:00



VietNamNet Bridge – Speaking to correspondents on the sideline of the Consultative Group Meeting for Vietnam in Hanoi on Thursday, Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Mitsuo Sakaba said Japan would have many more mechanisms to enhance transparency of ODA-funded projects.

The Japanese Ambassador attended the inauguration ceremony of a Japanese-funded primary school in Cam Minh commune, Cam Xuyen district, Ha Tinh province in late November 2008.

Will the Japanese Parliament put more pressure on Vietnam about this issue?

The Japanese Parliament wants to bring this case to light. We are seeking measures to enhance the transparency of ODA-funded projects. In the PCI corruption case, corruption was reported in the consulting phase. We will put out many more mechanisms to prevent corruption.

How have the Japanese people reacted?

Certainly they are dissatisfied by it.

The corruption case happened a long time ago but it wasn’t discovered till relatively recently, a bit late do you think?

I don’t really know about it. This case was unveiled this year. We didn’t know anything about it before. During the investigation of other scandals, this case was suddenly detected. We were very surprised!

Anyway, investigation has been conducted and two trials organised to try the case. Many new details are being discovered. Based on newly discovered information about the case, we will build up new mechanisms to combat corruption in similar cases. We are working hard and I hope the results will be announced soon.

What do you think about Vietnam’s moves in this case?

We are cooperating to deal with the case. This is a corruption case related to consultancy so for the procedures of bringing consultancy into Vietnam, we need some new mechanisms to make it more transparent to avoid such corruption cases.

What do you think about the belief of Vietnamese people in Japanese ODA projects? Many Vietnamese people think that it is unbelievable that a corruption case like this could happen, especially with a project of Japan, which is known for strict anti-corruption mechanisms.

We ourselves couldn’t believe that this could happen. The inquiry is being implemented in Japan and we are finding out more things. The case has disappointed us and it urges us to be more determined in fighting against corruption.

Will this case affect Japan’s ODA grants for Vietnam?

I couldn’t talk about the impacts of the PCI case on Japan’s ODA for Vietnam at this moment. I can only say that Japan has suspended ODA for Vietnam and we are waiting for the final conclusion of the joint committee about this case and the mechanism to prevent corruption. Until then, I couldn’t say anything else. I can’t say that Japan will reduce, or cut ODA for Vietnam. It is only being suspended.

What will the suspension be like?

We have technical assistance, non-refundable aid and soft loans. Regarding soft loans, we have to hire consulters to supervise project spending. For ODA grants, first of all we need to make clear the situation. Therefore, we have suspended the process of granting ODA to Vietnam. There is no change for the two other kinds of aid.

So this year Japan will not pledge ODA for Vietnam?

That’s right. Till the PCI case is made clear and the Joint Committee for Corruption Prevention in ODA-funded Projects sets up a new mechanism to create more transparency for the system.

Xuan Linh

Update from: http://english.vietnamnet.vn//interviews/2008/12/817056/

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