Japan has offered the needed assistance for the construction of the Eastern Corridor highway to link Hohoe in the Volta Region to Kulungugu in the Upper East Region.
This was the highlight of a new chapter opened yesterday in the Ghana-Japan relations to forge a progressive partnership, particularly in the areas of infrastructural expansion and job creation.
The assistance will also cover the Kpando-Dambai, Salaga-Bimbilla and Gushiegu-Karaga to Yendi link roads.
Additionally, Japan has decided to reconstruct the Yamoransa Junction-Bekwai road and also build a bridge to connect Assin Praso to Assin Adanse in the Central Region.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan of Japan and President John Evans Atta Mills affirmed their commitment to the new partnership during a close door meeting in Tokyo, the Japanese capital, on the first day of the President’s State visit to Japan.
The Communications Director at the Presidency, Mr Koku Anyidoho, told the Daily Graphic via the telephone from Japan that, “Japan has agreed to reopen its credit lines to support Ghana’s economic development”.
Japan suspended its loan facilities to Ghana when it opted for Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative. Subsequently, Japan cancelled Ghana’s debt of $l billion in 2004.
Mr Anyidoho said Japan had decided to open a new chapter because of its preparedness to support the President’s “A Better Ghana Agenda”, aimed at improving the lives of the majority of Ghanaians.
He said Japan’s decision to support Ghana was as a result of the fact that it believed the funds would be properly used for the purposes intended.
According to the communications director, President Mills recalled the bond of friendship between the two countries, which could be traced to the time of Dr Hideyo Noguochi, a Japanese national who visited Ghana to research into yellow fever but died in the process.
According to Mr Anyidoho, President Mills, during the close door meeting with the Japanese leader, made a case for Japan to help Ghana to develop the sheanut industry in the northern part of the country, saying that “the President was cognisant of the fact that the development of the crop was critical to the success of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) project”.
He said the President further appealed to Japan to help to revive the Jute Factory in the
Ashanti Region to create jobs for hundreds of people, particularly the youth.
President Mills expressed his appreciation to Japan for its preparedness to reopen its credit lines to Ghana.
The Japanese Prime Minister lauded President Mills for his leadership and good governance style, describing those virtues as “as a shining example to the sub-region and the continent as a whole”.
Earlier, while at the Ghana-Japan Investment Forum, President Mills asked Japanese industries to partner Ghana to promote its development agenda. The President is expected to pay a courtesy call on His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Akihito.
Source: Daily Graphic