Media Center

Press Release


  March 28, 2006

The government of Japan provided a $92,000 contribution to support the work of the Organization of American States (OAS) in monitoring the presidential electoral process in Peru. The donation will boost the Electoral Observation Mission underway, headed by former Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy.

During a brief ceremony at OAS headquarters today, Political Counselor Masataka Okano of Japan reiterated his country’s commitment to strengthening democracy in the Americas.

“We think that Peru has strengthened its democracy since 2000,” Okano said, referring to the country’s last presidential election. He emphasized the significance of the upcoming April 9 elections for the future stability of Peruvian democracy. The Japanese diplomat said this contribution will allow a continued “collaboration with the OAS” in helping to consolidate democracy in the Western Hemisphere.

Accepting the donation on behalf of OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza, the Director of the Department for the Promotion of Democracy, Elizabeth Spehar, said Japan has contributed to some of the Organization’s most important observation missions.

Underscoring the role that the OAS has played in Peru since 2000, Spehar said the people of that country “have a great deal of respect and appreciation for what this institution has been able to do,” noting that these elections constitute “part of a transition that they are going through democratically.”

Japan’s contribution will therefore be very important for Peru and “something that the different sectors, not just the government, but the political and other social sectors see as critical in order to make sure that there is a smooth electoral process,” Spehar added.

Japan has been a permanent observer to the OAS since 1973. Over the years, it has contributed to a number of OAS efforts, including election observation missions, the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission and OAS landmine-removal programs in Central America.

The OAS Department of External Relations coordinated the ceremony, as the unit responsible for the permanent observers.

Reference: E-073/06