The Japan International Cooperation Agency, or JICA, has marked 30 years since it began sending volunteer workers to Mongolia.
About 200 people attended a commemorative ceremony on Tuesday in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar. The participants included government officials from both countries. JICA President Tanaka Akihiko said Japan hopes to keep moving forward with Mongolia, based on a relationship of mutual trust.
JICA has sent a total of 725 volunteer workers to Mongolia over the years. Four of them are currently working there. They were initially deployed in 2019, but had to temporarily return to Japan due to the coronavirus pandemic. They resumed their activities in Mongolia earlier this year.
One of them is nurse Matsumoto Saori. She said she will think hard about what she can do to improve the quality of nursing in Mongolia. Physiotherapist Kubota Ryo said he wants to help make improvements little by little.
Japan is providing yen loans to improve infrastructure in Mongolia, including funds to build an international airport. The loans are also financing health, medical care and communication technology projects. Countries such as China and South Korea are stepping up aid to Mongolia.