Japan to offer $100 million loan to Jordan

The move, announced during Tokyo's foreign minister's visit to Amman, is aimed to help the kingdom implement its economic reforms

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi announced the loan during a visit to Amman on Sunday. Reuters
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The Japanese government has granted a soft loan of $100 million to Jordan to support the kingdom's economic reforms, the official Jordanian news agency said on Sunday.

Japan is among international powers allied with Washington that provide direct budgetary support to Jordan, as well as grants and loans for infrastructure and other projects.

The announcement was made during a visit to Amman by Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi.

“We will soon start wider economic and financial co-operation with our friends in Japan,” Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Al Safadi said after meeting Mr Hayashi.

Since 2020, Jordan has been undertaking a reform programme supervised by the IMF to curb public debt almost the size of its economy, and to lower its unemployment rate of around 23 per cent.

Mr Hayashi said Japan would help Jordan to deal with economic issues, as well as health care and refugee concerns, without giving more details.

Japan is a main financier of Jordanian infrastructure projects. On Sunday, the two sides signed a deal that would see Japan spend $6.5 million to help increase power generation in the kingdom.

During a visit to Japan in April, Jordan's King Abdullah discussed development with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

Mr Kishida said Japan wanted to “contribute to the urgent challenges facing Jordan, such as increasing investment from abroad and reducing unemployment”.

The visit to Japan was King Abdullah's twelfth since he became monarch in 1999, demonstrating the importance of Tokyo's support to the kingdom, which has a defence pact with the US and is a main recipient of US financial aid.

King Abdullah was accompanied on the visit by his wife Queen Rania and their son, Crown Prince Hussein. They met Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

The kingdom has been feeling growing economic pressure, but it has remained one of the largest recipients of US aid, and also receives substantial support from Germany and other European countries.

Updated: September 03, 2023, 4:17 PM