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By Gorethy Kenneth

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (January 29, 2002 – Post-Courier)---The Japanese government, through the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), will resume its volunteer program on Bougainville.

The government stopped sending volunteers to Bougainville during the decade-long Bougainville insurrection.

Volunteer coordinator Nobuaki Matsui said the Japanese government is awaiting response to applications dispatched to Bougainville authorities before processing and sending volunteers to the island.

Mr. Matsui was in Buka recently to study the possibility of resuming the deployment of Japanese volunteers. He met with Bougainville Administrator Francis Kabano and asked for his assistance with the program once it resumes

Mr. Matsui also met with Department of Primary Industry head Patrick Koles, Buka education and hospital authorities and other official divisions to assess the possibility of suitable volunteer needs in these areas.

"Last year, the Japanese government, through JICA, resolved to re-send its officials to Bougainville to look at possibilities of redeploying volunteers on the island," Mr. Matsui said.

"I was here to assess the possibility of resuming the volunteer scheme. I met with DPI officials, vocational teachers, hospital heads and other important authorities.

"We are seriously looking at immediate deployment on Buka, and the mainland will follow suit later because of security reasons.

"We will definitely consider dispatching volunteers to mainland Bougainville in the long run."

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

Provided by Vikki John VIKKI@law.uts.edu.au" target="_blank">(VIKKI@law.uts.edu.au

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