AMBON, Indonesia, 3 February 2012 – The Japanese Ambassador to Indonesia, Yoshinori Katori, said today he was confident in the potential the Maluku region had in attracting Japanese investment and tourists. He made the statement during a visit to productive groups in Hutumuri village, South Leitimur Selatan sub-district, Ambon, on Wednesday.
Between 1999 and 2004, waves of ethnic and religious violence in Indonesia’s Maluku Islands severely affected the local economy and the livelihoods of the inhabitants. In addition to the loss of lives, the conflict led to the displace¬ment of more than 400,000 people (over 30 per cent of the local population), the destruction of schools and medical facilities, as well as houses, businesses, crops, livestock, fishing boats and equipment.
In 2009, with funds from the Government of Japan, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) initiated a project to support the islands’ reconstruction and reconciliation process.
UNIDO has taken the lead in identifying the required technology transfer while ILO has focused on local economic development initia¬tives. The two agencies work closely to offer training programmes on business management and entrepreneurship development for 21 villages in Ambon City, Central Maluku and the West Seram Districts.
Ambassador Katori said he was glad to see the development of the potentials of the region, and expressed hope that more Japanese people would visit.
The joint UNIDO and ILO project is expected to be completed by the end of the year.