Japan grants 30 billion yen in loans to Mauritius after oil spill

Japan will provide up to 30 billion yen ($ 284 million) in loans to Mauritius to help its economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic and a major oil spill caused by a Japanese cargo ship last year.

The assistance agreement was signed by Japanese Ambassador to Maurice Shuichiro Kawaguchi and Renganaden Padayachy, Mauritius Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, in Port Louis, the Foreign Ministry said.

They also signed a separate agreement under which Tokyo will offer a grant of 600 million yen to aid Mauritius’ efforts to boost disaster risk reduction at sea and strengthen maritime security, according to the Japanese ministry.

The July oil spill off Mauritius last year hit the tourism and fishing sectors in the country, which was already suffering from restrictions on cross-border movement of people and goods due to the pandemic.

Since the accident, Japan has dispatched investigative teams to compile an aid program in Port Louis, including support for the local fishing industry and the restoration of damaged mangroves.

The Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd. and owned by Nagashiki Shipping Co., ran aground off the southeast coast of Mauritius on July 25, spilling more than 1,000 tonnes of oil into the pristine environment.

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