The Japanese government has agreed to give China more than seven million US dollars in aid for a major afforestation project and for training civil servants.
China's Vice Minister of Commerce Yi Xiaozhun and Japanese ambassador to China Yuji Miyamoto officially agreed Thursday on the package valued at 821 million yen (7.46 million US dollars).
A scholarship scheme for Chinese civil servants studying in Japan will benefit with 603 million yen (5.48 million US dollars), while the remaining 218 million yen (1.98 million US dollars) will be used for afforestation along the Yellow River.
Sources with the Ministry of Commerce said that the scholarship initiated in 2002 had financed 169 Chinese civil servants to pursue master's degrees in economics, business and administration, law, public policy, international relations and medical care.
To date, 62 students had completed their studies. Japan had previously provided aid worth 2.85 billion Yen (25.9 million US dollars) for this program.
The afforestation program, which already involved Japanese aid worth 1.494 billion yen (13.6 million US dollars) will see trees planted on approximately 6,000 hectares along the middle reaches of the Yellow River in north China's Shanxi Province. Since the program began in 2003, nearly 5,000 hectares have been planted.