ISLAMABAD - Japan on Thursday signed an agreement with Pakistan to provide Japanese hybrid vehicles worth $4.93 million (equivalent to around Rs. 490 million).The notes to this effect were signed and exchanged between Hiroshi Inomata, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan and Ms Nargis Sethi, Secretary of Economic Affairs Division (EAD) in Islamabad. This assistance is provided in the form of Japan’s Non-Project Grant Aid (NPGA), promotion of socio-economic development efforts in developing countries by providing foreign currency for the import of necessary goods or commodities.The Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Communications have submitted their requests to procure hybrid vehicles under this NPGA for the police agencies under their umbrella. Further details of the procurement will be determined between the Japanese and Pakistani counterparts.At the signing ceremony, Japanese Ambassador Inomata said, “Security enhancement is indispensable for successful socio-economic development in Pakistan and the Government of Japan remains committed to improving capabilities of law enforcement agencies in Pakistan”. In the field of security and law enforcement, the Government of Japan, through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), has provided training opportunities to around 50 Pakistani police officers for the last ten years in areas such as forensic science, drug control and terrorism investigation. In 2013, Japan also agreed to install cargo and vehicle scanning devices at three international airports in Pakistan. In addition, JICA is currently conducting a feasibility study for improvement of container cargo inspection at the two international ports in Karachi. From the environmental point of view, hybrid vehicles use less fuel and emit less greenhouse effect gases than conventional cars. The latest hybrid vehicles from Japan are expected not only to enable the Pakistani police agencies to reduce fuel costs for their daily operations, but also to help the GoP to address environmental challenges. According to Inomata, “Our generation has to take concrete actions to address global warming. This NPGA is a part of Japan’s recent commitment to provide $16 billion between 2013 and 2015 for mitigation and adaptation efforts in developing countries worldwide. This commitment was announced in Japan’s strategy to counter global warming, “Actions for Cool Earth (ACE)”. Environment-friendly vehicles such as hybrid cars are widely used in Japan by the police, other government entities and public transport as well as the general public. Ambassador Inomata expressed his wish that “this NPGA will provide good opportunities for Pakistani people to realise positive environmental effect brought about by hybrid vehicles”. He expressed his hope that the provision of this NPGA will contribute to strengthening the bond of friendship between Japan and Pakistan.In reply, Ms Nargis Sethi, Secretary of Economic Affairs Division, reiterated Pakistani Government’s sincere gratitude for Japan’s continuous commitment to socio-economic development in Pakistan.