Transport Minister rejects rumor on ODA suspension from Japan

Minster of Transport Dinh La Thang on Wednesday confirmed that he had not received any document or official announcement from Japan on the Official Development Assistance cut to Vietnam.
Some newspapers have recently informed that Japan temporarily halts development aid to Vietnam over a railway bribery case, in which Japan Transportation Consultants, Inc. (JTC) admitted to bribe Vietnamese officials to win contracts for the Urban Railway Route No. 1 in Hanoi.
According to the minister, the Government must submit ODA capital arrangement plans to the National Assembly for approval in medium and long-terms not yearly. As a result, projects will be continued as normal while bribery involving officials will be charged.
Vietnam and Japan have worked closely together to clarify the bribery allegation. The Japan’s Embassy in Vietnam, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Agency have been in Vietnam to investigate the case, the minister said.
The Ministry of Transport has instructed authorized agencies to inspect all projects attended by JTC as well as ongoing railway and ODA funded projects.
On the same day, Mr. Nguyen Xuan Tien, deputy head of the Foreign Affairs Department under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, said news on ODA suspension from Japan published by some newspapers was incorrect.
Japan will continue to fund new projects on the ground of Vietnam’s pledges to investigate and strictly punished individuals and teams involving the bribery charge and the country’s measures to prevent similar cases in the future, he said.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment will build a process to investigate ODA projects especially those funded by Japan and revise related regulations to increase effectiveness of ODA usage.
The Vietnamese Government now continues to work with Japanese side to investigate the bribery case. They have quickly investigated and hold related individuals in custody right after being aware of the case. 

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By Anh Phuong – Translated by Hai Mien

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