Saturday, October 01, 2005

Japan Pledges $21.5 Million for KR Tribunal

The Cambodia Daily, Thursday, January 27, 2005

By Lee Berthiaume

Japan has committed $21.5 million for the Khmer Rouge tribunal and will give the money to the UN by the end of March, Japan's Ambassador to Cambodia said Wednesday.

Japanese lawmakers approved the inclusion of the funding in their national budget on Feb 1, Ambassador Fumiaki Takahashi said.

The commitment represents half the amount the international community must raise to pay for its part of $56 million tribunal.

The Cambodian government will pay the remaining $13 million. Takahashi said Japan has long said it will pay half the amount to be covered by foreign donors.

"We are very serious about our commitments," he said, adding he hopes other countries will follow Japan's lead.

Under the agreement signed by the UN and the Cambodian government, pledges for the full $56 million tribunal budget must be secured and funding for the first year must be in the bank before the tribunal can go forward.

Takahashi said Japan's commitment means the second requirement has been met but more money must be committed from other donor countries.

Besides Japan, only Australia, Britain and France have pledged money. Their total donation: $5.2 million.

"It's still not enough," he said. Sean Visoth, secretary of the government's tribunal task force, applauded Japan's commitment. "It's good news," he said Wednesday. "That's exactly what we needed."

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