Japan Pledges ¥500 Mil. to Boost Distance Learning in Palestine Amid Conflict

Toshiyuki Fukushima / Yomiuri Shimbun Correspondent
State Foreign Minister Kiyoto Tsuji, second from left, meets with Palestinian Finance Minister Shoukry Bishara in Ramallah in the West Bank.

RAMALLAH, West Bank — State Foreign Minister Kiyoto Tsuji visited Ramallah in the West Bank on Tuesday and attended a signing ceremony for a grant aid of ¥500 million aimed at promoting distance learning in public elementary and middle schools operated by the Palestinian Authority.

Major roads in the West Bank have been closed since the conflict in Gaza began in October, making commutes difficult for teachers and children. The funds will be used to purchase equipment such as cameras and monitors to promote distance education via TV and the internet. Expanding the support to Gaza is also being considered.

Tsuji expressed his high hopes at the signing ceremony, saying, “I hope new technologies will lead to quality education.”

Palestinian Finance Minister Shoukry Bishara expressed his gratitude, saying that the support will enhance the skills of the younger generation. Tsuji also met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Japan’s support for Palestine has amounted to $2.4 billion, or about ¥360.9 billion, since 1993, according to the Foreign Ministry.