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BACKGROUND NOTES. 1987 Feb; 1-12.Japan is composed of 4 main islands and more than 3900 smaller islands and has 317.7 persons/square kilometer. This makes it one of the most densely populated nations in the world. Religion is an important force in the life of the Japanese and most consider themselves Buddhists. Schooling is free through junior high but 90% of Japanese students complete high school. In fact, Japan enjoys one of the highest literacy rates in the world. There are over 178 newspapers and 3500 magazines published in Japan and the number of new book titles issued each year is greater than that in the US. Since WW1, Japan expanded its influence in Asia and its holdings in the Pacific. However, as a direct result of WW2, Japan lost all of its overseas possessions and was able to retain only its own islands. Since 1952, Japan has been ruled by conservative governments which cooperate closely with the West. Great economic growth has come since the post-treaty period. Japan as a constitutional monarchy operates within the framework of a constitution which became effective in May 1947. Executive power is vested in a cabinet which includes the prime minister and the ministers of state. Japan is one of the most politically stable of the postwar democracies and the Liberal Democratic Party is representative of Japanese moderate conservatism. The economy of Japan is strong and growing. With few resources, there is only 19% of Japanese land suitable for cultivation. Its exports earn only about 19% of the country's gross national product. More than 59 million workers comprise Japan's labor force, 40% of whom are women. Japan and the US are strongly linked trading partners and after Canada, Japan is the largest trading partner of the US. Foreign policy since 1952 has fostered close cooperation with the West and Japan is vitally interested in good relations with its neighbors. Relations with the Soviet Union are not close although Japan is attempting to improve the situation. US policy is based on the following 3 principles: 1) the US views Japan as an equal trade partner, 2) that the relationship is global in scope, and 3) that Japan has become increasingly assertive in world matters and plays a greater international role. The combined efforts of the US and Japan will be utilized to promote world peace.
BACKGROUND NOTES. 1987 Mar; 1-8.New Zealand, located in the southwest Pacific, has a population of more than 3 million. Although populated for at least 1000 years before the arrival of the Europeans, New Zealand achieved full internal and external autonomy in 1947. Its parliamentary system of government is patterned closely on the United Kingdom. There is a 20-member cabinet led by the prime minister which has executive authority. There are 4 major political parties in New Zealand. While New Zealand is of the world's most efficient producers of economic products, the current government has undertaken an effort to reverse New Zealand economic decline by instituting a major economic reform program. Defense has traditionally occupied a very small place in the budget in New Zealand. Until recently, its defense policy has developed around the ANZUS (Australia, New Zealand, United States) mutual defense treaty. They have also cooperated with the South Pacific and Southest Asian countries. New Zealand's foreign policy targets mainly the developed democratic countries and Southeast Asia. New Zealand and Australia have both political and economic relationships. Among other things, New Zealand has helped Asian countries with technical assistance. US Navy vessels have access to New Zealand ports but since July 1984, there have been certain restrictions attached to port use. Largely these restrictions are meant to ban entry to nuclear-powered or nuclear-armed warships. New Zealand is very committed to developing more extensively the political, economic, and social ties among the members of ANZUS. Information on travel, principal US officials, principal government officials, government, and economy are also included.
BACKGROUND NOTES. 1987 Feb; 1-7.Honduras is a democratic, constitutional republic located between Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua in Central America. Although in the early history of the nation there were frequent revolutions, Honduras has been independent throughout much of its existence. Since the decade of the 1980s, there has been close cooperation with the US including bilateral economic and security assistance, and joint military exercises. The government constitution adopted in 1982 assures that there will be a powerful executive branch, a unicameral legislature, and a judiciary appointed by the National Congress. Following 18 years of military government, Honduras is now under civilian and constitutional rule. Its major serious concerns center around development in the economic and social spheres. Honduras is the least developed Central American country. In 1984, it became a Caribbean Basin Initiative beneficiary country and as a result, the research and development of nontraditional export products has grown greatly. The US has been its most important trade partner. Among others, the US and the World Bank have committed large amounts of financial resources to help Honduras. Honduras and El Salvador are attempting to come to some agreement about their mutual boundaries and Honduras is concerned about the Nicaraguan and general Central American situation. It supports the US position and policy toward Nicaragua. In response to the threats posed by some of its neighbors, Honduras has focused on developing a mobile deterrent force with strong counterterrorism capabilities. Honduras relies heavily on US material assistance and political support.
BACKGROUND NOTES. 1987 Apr; 1-7.The Republic of Korea occupies approximately 38,000 square miles in the southern position of a mountaineous peninsula. It shares a land boundary with North Korea. With a population of more than 40 million people, South Korea has 1 of the highest population densities in the world. The language spoken is a Uralic language, closely akin to Japanese, Hungarian, Finnish, and Mongolian, and the traditional religions are Shamanism and Buddhism. Over the course of time, South Korea has been invaded and fought over by its neighbors. The US and the Soviet Union have never been able to reach a unification agreement for North and South Korea. The 3rd Republic era, begun in 1963, saw a time of rapid industrialization and a great deal of economic growth. The 5th Republic began with a new constitution and new elections brought about the election of a president to a 7-year term of office beginning in 1981. Economic growth has been remarkable over the last 25 years despite the fact that North Korea possesses most of the mineral and hydroelectric resources and the existing heavy industrial base built by the Japanese while South Korea has the limited agricultural resources and had, initially, a large unskilled labor pool. Serious industrial growth began in South Korea in the early 1960s and the GNP grew at an annual rate of 10% during the period 1963-78. Current GNP is now, at $2000, well beyond that of its neighbors to the north. The outlook for longterm growth is good; however, the military threat posed by North Korea and the absence of foreign economic assistance has resulted in Korea spending 1/3 of its budget on defense. South Korea is active in international affairs and in the UN. Economic realities have forced Korea to give economics priority in their foreign policy. There has been an on-again, off-again quality to dialogue between the 2 nations. However, the US is committed to maintaining peace on the Korean peninsula. In order to do so, they have supplied manpower and support to supplement Korea's efforts to deter aggression. The US also believes that talks between governments are essential if reunification will ultimately occur. South Korea is now the US' largest commercial partner and Korea seems to understand that they can benefit greatly by having increased US private sector involvement in Korea's development.
BACKGROUND NOTES. 1987 Aug; 1-7.Madagascar, in the Indian Ocean near Mozambique, is officially known as the Democratic Republic of Madagascar. This republic has 3 branches of government and includes 6 provinces or subdivisions. Since 1981, it has received more than $62 million in grants and concessional sales from the US. There have been other types of assistance as well, including a development assistance program begun in 1985. Its population is largely of mixed Asian and African origin. There exists an historic rivalry between the Catholic coastal people, Cotiers, and the Protestant Merina, who predominate in civil service, business, and the professions. To combat this, the government has set one of its goals to be the highlighting of nationalism. The beginning of Madagascar's written history can be traced to when the Arabs established trading posts along the coastal areas. Eventually, Madagascar moved toward independence from the French and became an autonomous state in 1958. The president is elected for a 7-year term and is the head, during that time, of the Supreme Revolutionary Council. There is a 3-tiered court system, including a lower court for civil and criminal cases, a criminal court for more serious crimes, and a supreme court. The government represents a strong socialist philosophy and outright criticism of the President and his government is not tolerated. The economy of Malagasy is dominated by agriculture, which employs about 85% of the population. Although it faces some serious problems in the areas of foreign exchange and imports/exports, Madagascar is a potentially prosperous country. It boasts diversified agricultural production, it is rich in minerals, and it maintains strong commercial ties to the West. Madagascar's major trading partners are France, the US, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Soviet Union, Qatar, and Japan. Madagascar maintains the Popular Armed Forces for its defense; however, there is a heavy reliance on the Soviet Union for military equipment and training. US-Malagasy relations have been warm for most of its history until 1971 when the US ambassador and 5 members of his staff were expelled. In 1980, a new ambassador arrived and in 1981, 2 Food for Peace rice agreements were concluded. In 1986, Madagascar became the 1st African country to be the recipient of assistance under the program Food for Progress, given to nations which have undertaken successful economic reform.
BACKGROUND NOTES. 1987 Sep; 1-8.The Kingdom of Belgium which borders on the nations of France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and the Federal Republic of Germany, is one of the smallest European countries and is a parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarch. The branches of its government are the executive (with a king, a prime minister, and a Council of Ministers), the legislative (a bicameral Parliament and various regional and cultural assemblies), and the judicial (a Court of Cassation modelled on the French system). 30% of Belgium's gross national product comes from machinery, iron and steel, coal, textiles, chemicals, and glass. During the 80 year period which preceded WWI, Belgium remained neutral in an era of intra-European wars until German troops overran the country during their attack on France in 1914. Some of the worst battles of that war were fought in Belgium. Again in 1940, Belgium was occupied by the Germans. There was a government-in-exile in London; however the King remained in Belgium during the war. The course of Belgian politics was determined largely by the division of the Belgian people into 2 major language groups--the Dutch speakers and French speakers. Regional and language rivalries are taken into account in all important national decisions. The 3 major political parties representing the main ideological tendencies are the Socialists, the Socialist Christians, and the Liberals. Belgium is one of the most open economies in the world and is a densely populated, highly industrialized country in the midst of a highly industrialized region. An economic austerity program was instituted at the beginning of this decade which included devaluation of the Belgian franc, reduction of government expenditures, a partial price freeze, etc. Improvements have been seen as a result of this program. Although US investment has declined in recent years, total US direct investment is estimated at $5.28 billion and there are 899 US companies currently operating in Belgium. As a member of NATO, Belgium's armed forces are part of the NATO integrated military structure. Belgium is a proponent of close cooperation with the US and they seek improved East-West relations. In this vein, Belgium works closely with the US both bilaterally and multilaterally to liberalize trade, and to foster economic and political cooperation and assistance to developing countries.
[Unpublished] . 22 p.Since 1978, the Sudanese Ministry of Social Services and Administration Reform, through the Public Corporation for Workers' Education (PCWE), has provided a workers' population education program in Sudan. Rationale for and description of the expansion of the program to the organized labor sector of Gezira Province in 1984-86 is provided. The program was expanded to the organized sector in hopes of sparking greater understanding and awareness of population issues, garnering trade union involvement, increasing acceptance of new family norms, increasing understanding of population size as it relates to quality of life, and developing worker motivators. The 1984 Working Plan included 10 seminars, 18 meetings, and 24 symposia over 2 years reaching more than 10,000 workers and family members. This level of participation represented a small fraction of the total target population, yet constitutes a limited, small-scale communication impact. The United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA) has funded a 2nd phase of the project.
[Unpublished] . 27 p. (USAID Contract No. DPE-5927-C-00-5068-00)Health personnel in Niger report that malaria is the leading diagnosis in health facilities (1980-1984), about 380,000 cases/year), but just 19% of the population live within a 5 km radius of a health facility. A 1985 household survey reveals that 31.4% of children had a febrile illness (presumptive malaria) within the last 2 weeks and 22.1% of all child deaths were presumptive malaria related. The Government of Niger began developing a national malaria program in 1985 to reduce malaria-related deaths rather than morbidity reduction, because available data indicated that morbidity reduction was not feasible. There is no standard treatment regimen for presumptive malaria, however. Some studies indicate that an effective dose regimen is 10 mg chloroquine/kg body weight in a single dose. Some health workers use other antimalarial arbitrarily. Lack of uniformity can increase the risk of chloroquine and Fansidar resistant falciparum. Government officials are thinking about having only chloroquine available at first level facilities. It plans to set up national surveillance for chloroquine resistance. Niger has just 1 trained malariologist, indicating a need for training of more staff. To keep government costs to a minimum, it wants to set chloroquine at all points in the distribution network. The program's plan of action also includes chemoprophylaxis for pregnant women, limited vector control in Niamey, and health education stressing reducing breeding sites. A REACH consultant believes that it is possible for the program to reach its coverage targets within 5 years. Obstacles include limited access to health care, unavailable chloroquine in warehouses, and lack of untrained personnel (the main obstacle). The consultant suggests various interventions to help Niger meet its targets, e.g., periodic coverage surveys. The World Bank, WHO, the Belgian Cooperation, and USAID are either providing or planning to provide support to the malaria control programs.