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July 11, 2020, 3:28 pm

Japan resumes ODA to Vietnam

(16:53:13 PM 21/07/2014)
( - The Japanese government has resumed official development assistance (ODA) to Vietnam after a brief suspension over a graft scandal involving the Japan Transportation Consultants Inc. (JTC).


The decision was made on July 18 after both Japanese and Vietnamese sides agreed to prevent similar bribery scandals in the future.


Earlier on June 2 the Japanese Government decided to suspend new ODA to Vietnam to deal with a corruption scandal in which the Tokyo-based JTC was alleged to have paid kickbacks to several Vietnamese railway officials to win the bidding package for a Japanese ODA-funded railway project in Vietnam.


To get new ODA, Japan asked Vietnam to bring to light graft scandals involving JTC and Vietnam Railways (VNR), and take tough measures to prevent similar bribery cases in the future.


Both Vietnam and Japan launched an inquiry into the case and they vowed to root out corruption in Japanese ODA-funded projects in Vietnam.


In this connection, Vietnam detained six VNR officials for investigation. Japan also prosecuted three JTC officials their involvement in the scandal.


Both sides have met several times to inform each other of the progress in resolving the case and discussed ways to prevent similar corrupt behaviours.


Japan says these steps will help make bidding processes more transparent and strengthen penalties for crimes.


JTC has won several infrastructure construction projects in Vietnam. In 2005, it teamed up with the Pacific Consultants International (PCI) and the Japan Railway Technical Service (JARTS) in a consortium of contractors to provide services for the Hanoi-HCM City railway route project.


Under the contract, the consortium conducted a feasibility study and technical design, supervised project implementation, and supported VNR in improving its infrastructure management capacity. It cost nearly VND150 billion and took 56 months to complete.


In 2009, a Vietnam-Japan consultants group, comprising Vietnam’s Transport Investment and Construction Consultant JSC (TRICC), JTC, JARTS, and Nippon Koei, proposed Japan’s Shinkansen technology for an express railway project in Vietnam.


Later that year Vietnam’s Investigation Agency prosecuted Huynh Ngoc Si, former director of the ODA-funded East-West Avenue project in HCM City, for taking bribes from PCI. Si was then sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Source: VOV

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