García meets Japanese counterpart to strengthen ties; Japan pledges $300 million in aid

President Alan García and his Japanese counterpart, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, signed a joint declaration Monday on environmental and climate change issues during the first official meeting between leaders of the two nations in nine years.

According to Agencia Andina, Peru and Japan will collaborate in reducing green house gas emissions beyond 2012 and cooperate in adopting measures such as a clean development mechanism, promotion of clean energy and improvement of freshwater supply and sanitation.

Japanese authorities also pledged $300 million in economic and social aid to Peru. Included is some $8 million for reconstruction in Ica, which was devastated by the magnitude-8 earthquake that killed hundreds of people last August.

“We have competed a day’s work with Prime Minister Fukuda that has seen important results towards the objective of our trip. Relaunching and strengthening relations that have become distant in the last few years with Japan,” Andina reported García saying. “We are definitely taking a new path, one of cooperation and investment.”

Japanese and Peruvian relations deteriorated after former Peruvian strongman Alberto Fujimori fled to Tokyo in 2000 and resigned as president to escape a corruption scandal. The incident led to a row between the two nations when Japan refused to extradite Fujimori, who is currently on trial over alleged human rights violations.

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