Media Center

Press Release


  September 18, 2006

The government of Japan has delivered a major financial boost, to the tune of $100,000, to the activities of an Organization of American States (OAS) Electoral Observation Mission that is to be deployed to Nicaragua for that country’s November 5 presidential and regional elections.
Besides, the grant is a demonstration of the Japanese government’s interest in Nicaragua and also a token of the friendship between the Japanese people and the Nicaraguan people, said the Counselor in the Political Section of the Permanent Observer Mission of Japan to the OAS, Masataka Okano, during a brief ceremony at the Organization’s headquarters today. Others in attendance included the Permanent Representative of Nicaragua to the OAS, Ambassador José Luis Velásquez Pereira; the Director of the OAS Department of External Relations, Irene Klinger; and Director of the Department for the Promotion of Democracy, Elizabeth Spehar.
Commending Nicaragua’s efforts to promote and strengthen its democracy as well as infrastructure development and healthcare for Nicaraguans, the Japanese diplomat noted that the upcoming elections will have significant implications for Nicaragua’s political stability, democracy and prosperity.
Thanking the government for its continued firm support, Klinger recalled that “Japan has been an important partner to the OAS over the years.” She noted as well that the Japanese government has provided a tremendous boost to OAS efforts to support electoral observation in a variety of member countries.
Nicaragua’s Ambassador Velásquez Pereira, meanwhile, also thanked the Japanese government for its demonstration of support for and friendship towards the Nicaraguan people, and also acknowledged the tremendous OAS support for his country’s electoral processes.
Spehar, for her part, described 2006 as a “banner year” for elections, which will have numbered 22 electoral processes completed by year-end. She said support such as the important donation by Japan helps the Organization to meet member state requests for assistance with their electoral processes.
Japan contributes some $260,000 a year to a variety of OAS programs, having obtained its observer status with the organization in 1973. Among its key contributions, the Japanese government has provided assistance for such programs as initiatives against illicit drugs, support for electoral processes, mine-clearing activities, environmental protection and the Inter-American Dialogue on Water Management/Achieving a Hemispheric Water Vision initiative.

Reference: E-193/06