Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare


◇International Contributions◇

0. Preface

Water supply is the essential social infrastructure to improve public health and living environment.
In 2015, it is estimated that 663 million people worldwide still use unimproved drinking water sources, including unprotected wells and springs and surface water.
To counter this situation, a new global agenda - the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - was unanimously adopted by the member states of the United Nations in 2015.
The agenda included a dedicated goal on water (Goal 6) that aims to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.”

Source: Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2017 update and SDG baselines. WHO & UNICEF

Therefore, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) promotes the international contribution and harmonization in water supply sector as one of the five important issues under “Waterworks Vision.” This vision was developed in 2004 to share the understanding of future goals among stakeholders.

International contributions on water supply services (Waterworks Vision)

1. International cooperation in water supply sector

Japan emphasizes the importance of capacity development, such as the development of the organizations, policies, systems, information and data, and human resources of the governments of developing countries as well as water supply utilities, for proper operation and maintenance and management, under the “Water and sanitation broad partnership initiative (WASABI) (2006),” the Japanese policy of Official Development Assistance (ODA) on water and sanitation sector.

Technical cooperation including the dispatch of technical experts and trainings of staff is the measure to realize the above policy. Among bilateral ODA, the details of technical cooperation, grant aid, and government loan are explained hereafter. Most of the projects on international cooperation in water supply sector are conducted by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Framework of ODA
Framework of ODA

1) Technical Cooperation

[1]Dispatch of technical experts

To supply safe and high quality water continuously, both water supply facilities appropriate for each natural and social condition and human resources capable of operation and maintenance of their system, are highly important.

MHLW recommends staff of Japanese water supply utilities and related organizations as technical experts to JICA and sends them to developing countries in order to contribute to enhance central and local human capacity for the better management and administration of water supply services.

●The Number of JICA Experts on Water Supply Sector Dispatched by the Recommendation of Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

Fiscal Year 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Long Term 6 5 6 7 5 4 9 7 6 8 10
Short Term 14 15 20 14 27 30 45 49 29 29 33
Sum 20 20 26 21 32 34 54 56 35 37 43

・Total number of experts dispatched in each year

●Long Term Experts from Municipal Water Utilities in FY2016

Country Project Organization
Timor-Leste Advisor on Improvement of Water Supply of DNSAS Chiba Prefecture
Myanmar Advisor on Water Supply and Sanitation Improvement in Yangon City Fukuoka City
Cambodia Project on Capacity Building for Urban Water Supply System in Cambodia (Phase 3) Kitakyushu City
Indonesia The Project on Strengthening COE(Center of Excellence) Program for PDAMs in the Republic of Indonesia Japan International Corporation of Welfare Services
Laos Capacity Development Project for Improvement of Management Ability of Water Supply Authorities Japan Water Works Association
Samoa Capacity Enhancement Project for Samoa Water Authority in Cooperation with Okinawa Japan Water Works Association

●Short Term Experts from Municipal Water Utilities in FY2016

Country Project Organization
Laos Capacity Development Project for Improvement of Management Ability of Water Supply Authorities Yokohama City
Kawasaki city
Saitama City
Yokohama Water Co.,Ltd
Japan Water Works Association
Cambodia Project on Capacity Building for Urban Water Supply System in Cambodia (Phase 3) Kitakyushu City

●Survey Members from Municipal Water Utilities in FY2016

Country Project Organization
Sri Lanka Data Collection Survey on Water Supply Sector in Slri Lanka Nagoya City
Kobe City
Laos Capacity Development Project for Improvement of Management Ability of Water Supply Authorities Saitama City
Yokohama city
Rwanda Project for Strengthening Non-Revenue Water Control in Kigali City Water Network Kobe City
Timor-Leste Survey on water purification plant operation management and water quality management Chiba Prefecture
Cambodia The 6th P2P meeting (The 4th Executive Forum for Enhancing Sustainability of Urban Water Service in Asian Region) Yokohama city
Malawi・Ethiopia Follow-up studies on training programs of African Region Urban Waterworks Engineering Yokohama city

●Technical Cooperation Project (Starting in FY2016)

Country Project Period
Zambia The Project for Strengthening Capacity of Urban Water Supply Infrastructure 2017/02~2018/11
Nicaragua Project For Strengthening Non-Revenue Water Management Capacity In Managua city 2017/01~2020/01
Kenya The Project for strengthening capacity in Non-Revenue water reduction 2016/07~2021/07

*Project related to ODA loan

[2]Training of staff in the water supply sector

ODA supports self-help efforts of developing countries. Further, the contributions of human resource development help strengthen friendship between Japan and those countries.

MHLW cooperates with JICA for group training programs and individual training programs on water supply sector, together with water supply utilities and related organizations.

●The Number of Participants in Training Courses on Water Supply Sector

Fiscal Year 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
JICA Group Training 39 38 44 64 76 69 65 81 100 136 132
JICA Country-Focused Training 62 97 72 42 100 121 115 89 52 26 22
Sum 101 135 116 106 176 190 180 170 152 162 154

・MHLW trainings include seminars

●Details of JICA Group and Country Focused Training Programs Accepted by Water Supply Utilities in FY2016

Type Country Course Organization Participants
Group Training Comprehensive Engineering on Water Supply Systems(A) Japan Water Works Association 13
Comprehensive Engineering on Water Supply Systems(B) Hokkaido International Exchange and Cooperation Center 11
Operation and Maintenance of Urban Water Supply System (Water Distribution and Service)(A) Osaka Water General Service Co.,Ltd. 14
Operation and Maintenance of Urban Water Supply System (Water
Distribution and Service)(B)
Hiroshima City 8
Operation and Maintenance of Urban Water Supply System(Water Quality and Purification)(A) Osaka Water General Service Co.,Ltd. 9
Operation and Maintenance of Urban Water Supply System(Water Quality and Purification)(B) Kobe Water Service Corporation 12
Non-Revenue Water Management (Leakage Control)(A) Japan International Cooperation Center 8
Non-Revenue Water Management (Leakage Control)(B) Nagoya Water and Sewage General Service Co Ltd 12
Non-Revenue Water Management (Leakage Control)(C) Fukuoka City 1
Water Supply Administration for Better Management of Water Supply Services(A) Japan International Corporation of Welfare Services 16
Water Supply Administration for Better Management of Water Supply Services(B) Japan International Corporation of Welfare Services 10
African Region Urban Waterworks Engineering Yokohama Water Co.,Ltd 8
Management of Water Resources and Water Supply Services Okinawa Prefecture 10

Country-

Focused Training
Indonesia Federal Capital Territory Reduction of Non-Revenue Water Project Yokohama Water Co.,Ltd 7
Laos Capacity Development Project for Improvement of Management Ability of Water Supply Authorities Saitama City 15

[3]Development Study

In development study, the validity of projects is examined. After the judgment of validity of projects based on the results of the study, projects are initiated with planning of water supply.

●Development Study, etc.(Starting in FY2016)

 None

※Survey by MHLW

2) Grant Aid

The Government of Japan provides to developing countries a fund to be expended for procuring products and services necessary for the execution of specific projects related to safe drinking water.

●Grant Aid on Water Supply Sector

Fiscal Year 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Number 22 27 30 30 18 14 11 14 9 10 2
Amount (Million Yen) 16,131 15,664 14,693 28,411 21,796 15,773 10,500 19,054 11,387 18,861 7,964

※Survey by MHLW

●Grant Aid Projects in FY2016

Country Project Amount
(Million Yen)
Sudan The Project for Improvement of Water Treatment Plant in Kosti City 3,151
Nepal Pokhara Water Supply Improvement Projec 4,813
Sum   7,964

※Survey by MHLW

3) Government Loan

Government loan, yen loan, is the funds loaned under moderate conditions for interest, repayment period, and others, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), to contribute to the economic and social development of developing regions and economic stability.

●Government Loan on Water Supply Sector

Fiscal Year 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Number 14 6 9 5 0 6 5 3 1 2 1
Amount (Million Yen) 180,825 114,130 148,838 75,464 0 83,218 88,291 42,442 23,683 59,910 10,271

※Survey by MHLW

●Government Loan Projects on Water Supply Sector in FY2016

Country Project Amount
(Million Yen)
Laos Vientiane Capital Water Supply Expansion Project 10,271
Sum   10,271

※Survey by MHLW

2. Cooperation with international organizations, bilateral partnerships

MHLW establishes a strong international network with international organizations and provides knowledge and information to other countries through organizations such as World Health Organization and International Water Association.

1) Partnership with WHO, etc.

●Revision of WHO Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality

・Investigation toward the revision WHO Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality

・Financial contributions to the activities of WHO

・Dispatch of technical experts to technical committees

※WHO Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality
The guidelines for Drinking-water Quality are expected to be referred when each country defines the drinking water quality standards.
In the guidelines, guideline value is set for each potential hazardous chemical such as carcinogens, with a general assumption that a daily per capita consumption is 2 liters by a person weighing 60kg for 70 years (lifetime).

●O&M Network

・Financial contributions to the activities

・Dispatch of technical experts

※O&M (Operation and Maintenance) Network
The Operation and Maintenance Network (OMN) aims to improve information and expertise exchange on the critical subject of operation and maintenance of water supply and sanitation systems under IWA (International Water Association) in cooperation with WHO. Related training tools are developed, and seminars are organized. The coordinator of Operation and Maintenance Network is Department of Water Supply Engineering, National Institute of Public Health, Japan.

●RegNet (Regulators’Network)

・Dispatch of staff to meetings

・Cooperation for the development of guidance

※RegNet
The International Network of Drinking-Water Regulators (RegNet) established under WHO aims to promote best practice to developing countries, in order to regulate a variety of water quality and water management issues.

2) Contributions to the Activities of ISO/TC224

●ISO/TC224

・Support for international standardization related to water supply and domestic measures (Dispatch of members to working groups for the revision of the standards in 2011.)

※ISO/TC224:International Standards of Service Activities Relating to Drinking Water Supply and Sewerage

TC:Technical Committee

3) Bilateral Meetings

●Japan-Korea water supply administration meetings

●Japan-U.S. Governmental Conference on Drinking Water Quality Management and Wastewater Control

4) Emergency Restoration Support

●Restoration support for the earthquake in Sichuan, China
Water supply utilities and private companies provided materials for emergency water supply, bottled potable water, etc. responding to the request from related organizations, when the earthquake in Sichuan, China occurred in May, 2008.

●Dispatch of Japan Disaster Relief Expert Team in response to the Flood Disaster in Thailand
Thailand has experienced a flood in Oct, 2011. The country sought support for the O&M of waterworks during the flood. In light of this situation, the expert team was dispatched.

3. Promotion of the Contributions of Water Supply Industry

In addition to ODA, the contributions of the Japanese water supply industry are necessary for safe drinking water supply in developing countries. MHLW conducts a study to support these contributions by utilizing Japanese know-how stored in both public and private sector, while establishing reliable water supply systems in Asian countries. MHLW has organized seminars and field surveys in China, Cambodia and Viet Nam.

1) Summary

●Project period:FY2008 – FY2012 (5 years)

●Contents:Promotion of partnership with Asian countries, case studies for international contributions of Japan water supply industry, etc.

2) Reports

●FY2010

・The Second Vietnam – Japan Water Works Seminar -outline- (PDF:91KB)

4. Study of International Cooperation / Project Formation Program in Water Supply Sector

1) Study of International Cooperation in Water Supply Sector

The study to analyze the current situation of developing countries and need for international cooperation is being conducted to find the best way of international cooperation together with the Japanese government, water supply utilities, and private companies.

FY2016 Report on a Study of International Cooperation in the Water Supply Sector — Policy Direction for Measures Aimed at Meeting Targets for 2030 — (PDF: 1,562KB)
FY2015 Report of the International Cooperation Project Study in the Water Supply Sector — Study on Ideal Public Relations — (PDF: 1,306KB)
FY2014 Report of the International Cooperation Project Study in the Water Supply Sector — Governance, Human Resources system and Financial foundations — (PDF: 1,511KB)
FY2013 Report of the International Cooperation Project Study in the Water Supply Sector — Water supply business management — (PDF: 604KB)
FY2012 Report of the International Cooperation Project Study Committee in the Water Supply Sector —Water supply planning and implementation — (PDF: 373KB)
FY2011 Report on review of training in the water supply sector (PDF: 184KB)

2) Project Formation Program in Water Supply Sector

MHLW conducts project formation program to improve the capacity of project formation of developing countries. This program technically reviews a potential program or plan in developing countries, provides appropriate guidance and advice, and transfers the technical expertise of Japan, in order for those countries to become able to form a carefully designed good project.


FY2016 Proyecto de mejoramiento del sistema de agua potable en el municipio de Holguín, República de Cuba
Proyecto de mejoramiento del sistema de agua potable en el municipio de Santiago de Cuba, República de Cuba
FY2015 Programa de mejoramiento del sistema de suministro de agua en el sector oriental del municipio de La Ceiba República de Honduras
FY2014 Bhaktapur Water Supply Improvement Project in the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal (PDF: 16,098KB)
FY2013 Water Supply Improvement Project Study for Yangon City and Pathein City (PDF: 1,732KB)
Study on Water Supply Project Formation in Karad, India (PDF: 3,485KB)
FY2012 The Project for Expansion of Water Supply Facilities in Central Four Cities (Honduras) (PDF: 19,207KB)
The Project for Improvement of Water Supply Management in Three Cities (Myanmar) (PDF: 16,879KB)

5. Links

Water Supply in Japan
International Cooperation
Information about the Great East Japan Earthquake


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