Afghanistan: JMAS activities 2002 - 2007

News and Press Release
Originally published
In May 2002 JMAS received certification as an NPO, a not-for-profit organization, from Tokyo metropolitan office, just after Mr. Doi came back from his fieldwork in Cambodia. In July of that year, we started clearing UXOs in Cambodia's Prey Veng Province.

Then in March 2003 we received, for the first time, NGO grant assistance funds from Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) for UXO clearing in Prey Veng.

In October 2003 JMAS was honored as the winner of the 10th Yomiuri International Cooperation Prize in recognition of our organization's achievements in Cambodia and our planned future activities.

From May 2004 to July 2005, in response to a request from the United Nations, we carried out a project DDR of international observer group (IOG) in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. According to an announcement issued by the U.S. Department of Defense we were able to disarm 65,000 militiamen, equivalent to 64 percent of that nation's 102,000 militiamen.

In May of 2004 we started clearing UXOs in three provinces in Cambodia: Prey Veng, Kandal, and Svay Rieng, supported by NGO grant assistance funds from MOFA for one year term.

In July 2005, while we continued the above-mentioned demining activities in Cambodia, we started community-based mine-risk reduction (CBURR) programs in those regions by posting four CBURR personnel in each province. The aims of CBURR program are to collect information from local people and make them aware the danger of mines.

In August 2005, the Lao People's Democratic Republic approved JMAS as an international NGO. In February 2006, we started a UXO clearance project in Xiangkhoang Province.

In May 2006, we were able to start realizing our long-held dream of engaging in mine action (not UXO action), as is in the name of our organization, Japan Mine Action Service, in Tasen commune in the Kamrieng district of Battambang Province. That community-based demining project was created by us.

In August 2006, as we finished the UXO clearance project in Prey Veng, we started clearing mines in two more provinces in Cambodia — Kanpong Spoe and Kampong Cham — in addition to Kandal and Svay Rieng, for a total of four provinces in that country.

That same month, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan approved JMAS as an international NGO. In November 2006, we started mine-disposal activity in Afghanistan; that work has continued up to the present.

About JMAS

The real situation of the world is far from the common understanding of Japanese people enjoying prosperity. Sad to say, confrontations over issues such as race, religion, and territory have rarely been concluded peacefully through diplomatic talks. Furthermore, after every military conflict which has taken place anywhere in the world, there have been many disasters left unresolved, such as the problem of landmines and unexploded ordnances. At any place where conflicts have broken out, thousands and thousands of mines and unexploded ordnances have remained as they were. In these stark circumstances children have been losing what should be normal, healthy childhoods, others have lost their parents; some have even lost their own limbs. The disposal of mines and unexploded ordnances is accompanied with danger and requires a high level of technique and special skills to deal with the challenge. Therefore we have established JMAS as a body by which we can show the Japanese people's good faith and sincerity to work in the international field, through the efforts of a staff formed mainly from retired self-defense force personnel.

Chairman Tetsuya Nishimoto
President Yoshinao Doi

JMAS?Tokyo Office Address

4F Ichigaya building 4-1 Ichigayamotomuracho Shinjyuku-ku Tokyo
TEL 03-5228-7820
FAX 03-5228-7821