101. The representative of Japan said that the process of needs assessment was meaningful in order to effectively provide technical cooperation and enhance technology transfer to LDCs. Based on the submissions from Sierra Leone and Uganda, useful discussions had been held among interested parties, including his delegation. He appreciated the approach by which these countries sought to achieve economic growth by effectively utilizing intellectual property.
102. At the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV), held every five years at heads of state level in Yokohama, Japan, in May 2008, productive discussions had taken place about the future direction of development in Africa. Under the basic message of "Towards a Vibrant Africa: a Continent of Hope and Opportunity", issues related to economic growth, security, environment and climate change had been looked at by participants from 51 countries, including 41 African heads of state. Japan had announced that it would provide Africa with loans of up to US$4 billion for the following five years and had offered its support in various fields, including infrastructure and human resources development in the field of intellectual property. The Commissioner of the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the Director-General of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) and the Director-General of the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI, Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle) had also agreed to strengthen their cooperation in the field of intellectual property, partly to be implemented through Japan's Africa Fund at the WIPO of CHF 1.1 million. They had also reaffirmed the importance of utilizing intellectual property for socio-economic development in Africa. The cooperation programmes were under examination and included the IP-related training of government officials at the training centres of ARIPO and OAPI.
103. Japan had until then been mostly engaged in supporting Asian countries, given the close regional link with them. Such activities would continue and could hopefully be expanded in the future.
104. He said that it would be useful to share examples of successful use of the IP system among developed and developing countries in order to identify examples of self-sustained development of economies. Since cooperation with WIPO and other relevant organizations was needed for such information sharing, his delegation intended to propose this idea to the appropriate bodies with a view to exploring and examining various successful examples emanating from support activities carried out by Japan.