Japan Donates Nearly $3 Million to ECCC

Japan, the single largest donor to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, an­nounced Tuesday evening a contribution of more than $2.9 million to the court’s Cambodian side.

The announcement followed a meeting in New York on Monday of the “steering committee,” a smaller, more participatory group of about a half dozen ECCC donors, which was hosted by Japan, according to ECCC Public Affairs Chief Helen Jarvis.

Kaori Yoshimatsu, third secretary at the Japanese Embassy, said Tuesday evening that the donation was intended to pay salaries of Cambodian staff at the court’s Office of Administration.

The court is seeking about $100 million to continue operations and announced Friday it had completed a new budget proposal.

Donors complained that a draft circulated in January didn’t sufficiently justify the considerable increase from the court’s $56.3 million, three-year initial budget.

The Japanese donation was “a very encouraging signal from the principal donor to the court as a whole. We are very grateful indeed,” Jarvis said by telephone from New York on Tuesday.

The budget is to be presented in New York on Friday to the Group of Interested States, a wider group of donors and potential donors.

Japan pledged $21.6 million, or half the initial $43 million budget for the court’s international side in 2005. In April of last year, Japanese mediation helped end a dispute between the court’s international side and the Cambodia Bar Association, which sought to impose controversially high fees on foreign counsel at the court.

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