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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
07TOKYO2630 2007-06-12 02:52:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tokyo
Cable title:  

NO JAPANESE DEMOCRACY PROMOTION ACTIVITIES IN IRAN

Tags:   PREL PGOV KDEM KPAO EAID IR JA 
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VZCZCXRO2109
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHKUK
DE RUEHKO #2630 1630252
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 120252Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4412
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE
					C O N F I D E N T I A L TOKYO 002630 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR NEA/IR MCINTURFF AND NEA/IDP BALDI

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/10/2017
TAGS: PREL PGOV KDEM KPAO EAID IR JA
SUBJECT: NO JAPANESE DEMOCRACY PROMOTION ACTIVITIES IN IRAN

REF: STATE 76354

Classified By: Ambassador J. Thomas Schieffer for reasons 1.4(b) and (d
)



1. (C) SUMMARY: Japan's involvement with Iranian civil
society is limited to the work of two non-governmental
organizations that focus on refugee relief efforts. In
addition, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
is currently involved in four projects which provide
technical assistance for vocational training, wetlands
conservation, earthquake response systems, and a program to
provide training in legislative and legal systems. Our
Japanese contacts report no difficulties or harassment by
Iranian authorities. END SUMMARY.



--------------------------


NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS


--------------------------





2. (C) Japan's involvement with Iranian civil society is
limited to the work of two non-governmental organizations
that focus on relief efforts for Afghan refugees and Kurds;
cultural exchanges are limited to occasional film festivals
or museum exhibits that are designed to help Japanese and
Iranians "get to know each other better," according to MOFA
Second Middle East Division Principal Deputy Director
Motosada Matano. Japan also supports former Iranian
President Mohammad Khatami's "Dialogue Among Civilizations"
initiative. Matano emphasized to political officer that
Japan does not "raise the flag of democratization or freedom
of speech" with the Iranians, and that exchanges are still at
the "getting to know you" level.



3. (C) There are two Japanese NGOs engaged in activities in
Iran, reported Matano. The first is Peace Winds Japan which
provides relief to Kurds in the Iraq-Iran border area. The
group used to have an office in Tehran but recently closed
it. The group is said to have the support of Japanese Chief
Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki. The other Japanese NGO
in Iran is NICCO (Nippon International Cooperation for
International Development). Its activities are focused on
providing assistance to Afghan refugees in the Herat-Mashhad
region, and it operates a school for Afghan refugees in
Mashhad. Japanese NGO workers in Iran have not experienced
harassment or threats, said Matano.



--------------------------


JICA PROGRAMS


--------------------------



4, (C) The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
currently has four Official Development Assistance (ODA)
projects in Iran, according to JICA Middle East Europe Bureau
Middle East Division Team Leader Tanaka. They are programs
to: (1) provide technical assistance to strengthen management
of vocational training programs; (2) provide technical
assistance to the Anzari wetland environment control project;
(3) provide technical assistance to help establish a 72-hour
disaster response system for earthquakes; and (4) training in
legislation and legal systems. The last program is run by
the University of Nagoya, and in 2006 it involved bringing
prosecutors from Iran to expose them to the Japanese judicial
and penal systems, including jails and educational facilities
for delinquent youth. In addition, the program also focuses
on Japan's community-based system of crime control. This
year, at the request of the Iranians, the exchanges are
concentrating on ways to fight corruption. Tanaka told AID
Counselor that during calendar year 2006 there had been zero
grant aid to Iran and technical assistance funds spent
amounted to $7.93 million. Japan hosted 89 Iranian trainees
in 2006, and dispatched 21 experts to Iran. Tanaka reports
that none of these personnel have encountered problems with
Iranian authorities. There are currently no Japan Overseas
Corps of Volunteers posted to Iran.



5. (C) Embassy Tokyo political officer shared with Matano the
background material on U.S. democratization efforts in Iran
contained in reftel.
SCHIEFFER