September 28, 2015
The Japanese Government, under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) Scheme, has granted US$749,926 for a humanitarian assistance program “The Project for Strengthening Rail Transportation of Yangon Circular Line.”

The handover ceremony of the project took place at the Yangon Central Station on 28th September 2015. H.E. U Nyan Htun Aung, Union Minister for Rail Transportation, U Myint Thein, Deputy Union Minister for Rail Transportation, U Hla Myint, Mayor of Yangon, U Aung Khin, Minister for Transport of Yangon Region, U Thurein Win, Managing Director of the Myanma Railways (MR), Ministry of Rail Transportation, Myanmar, H.E. Mr. Tateshi HIGUCHI, Ambassador of Japan to Myanmar, and Mr. Takao NISHIYAMA, Executive Director for Overseas Related Affairs of the East Japan Railway Company (JR East) attended the ceremony.

In cooperation with JR East, the project aims to upgrade the transportation service of Yangon Circular Line (YCL) by providing 10 DMU trains (KIHA 40 and KIHA 48) and technical training on maintenance. Through the project, 10 DMU trains were donated by JR East, and the shipping cost and costs for technical training were covered by GGP scheme.

As trains of YCL are obsolete and becoming lower in numbers due to an increasing number of train cars needing maintenance, Myanma Railways had been facing difficulty meeting the needs of passengers. In this regard, the provided 10 DMU trains will be used as a means of convenient and economical transportation for the people at the grass-roots level in Yangon. YCL is currently supporting around 100,000 passengers a day or 30,000,000 passengers a year.

The Government of Japan has assisted 729 various grass-roots projects in Myanmar under the GGP scheme since 1993; the number consisting of 330 education projects, 192 healthcare projects, 138 public welfare and environment projects, 34 infrastructure projects and 35 other projects. It is anticipated that these assistances will further strengthen the existing friendly relations between Japan and Myanmar.