The Japanese Embassy recently announced a donation of $375,000 to the StateUniversity at a Distance (UNED) for the purchase of new equipment for the university’s publishing press.
The donation is part of a series of “cultural donations” the embassy has made to Costa Rica starting in 1975. Since that date, the 17 projects the embassy has supported have added up to a total of $6.5 million.
Japanese generosity has long irked Costa Rican environmentalists, who claimed the gifts were intended to grease palms and encourage a vote in favor of overturning a 21-year-old ban on whale hunting in the world’s oceans (TT, Feb. 9).
Last month, however, Costa Rica voted to uphold the ban and protect the whales at the International Whaling Commission meeting, held in Anchorage, in the U.S. state of Alaska.