Japan to extend ¥9 bil loan to Paraguay for stable electricity supply

Morioka Station is a stop on the Tohoku-Shinkansen. From Tokyo, the journey takes a little over 2 hours and costs ¥14,740.

Japan will extend loans of 9.29 billion yen to Paraguay to help build a stable and effective electricity supply system, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said during his trip to the South American country on Friday. "I hope this kind of cooperation will help improve Paraguay's investment environment," Motegi told an online joint press conference with Paraguayan counterpart Federico Gonzalez in Asuncion. "As the power balance in the international community is rapidly changing, it is necessary to further strengthen coordination for enhancing a free and open international order based on the rule of law," said Motegi, who also paid a courtesy call on Paraguay President Mario Abdo Benitez during his stay.

Gonzalez welcomed the bilateral cooperation in areas of infrastructure development, science and technology. Earlier in the day, Motegi was in Argentina, where he confirmed with Argentine President Alberto Fernandez and counterpart Felipe Carlos Sola plans to strengthen bilateral ties in the fields of trade and investment, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said. Motegi requested Argentina to improve its business environment, noting that Japanese companies continue to invest in the country even amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, the ministry said.

Following visits to Mexico, Argentina and Paraguay since Tuesday, Motegi will also travel to Brazil, Senegal and Kenya through Jan 14. He initially planned to visit Nigeria as well but canceled the stop after a new strain of the novel coronavirus was detected in the West African country. KYODO

Paraguay: Church Denounces Moral Relativism

ASUNCION, Dec 17, 2020: Taking advantage of the festivities organized in honor of the Virgin of Caacupé, the leader of the Church in Paraguay stigmatized the dangers that threaten the values ​​of life and family, calling on the political class to show responsibility. Usually, as the Feast of the Immaculate Conception approaches, several tens of thousands of faithful converge on the Basilica of Caacupé, some 53 kilometers from Asuncion, to pay homage to Our Lady of Miracles, considered as the patron saint of Paraguayan Catholics.

This year, the traditional pilgrimage has been reduced, ending with the Pontifical Mass celebrated on Sunday, December 6, by Mgr. Edmundo Valenzuela, Archbishop of Asuncion. The bishop took advantage of a large digital broadcast, to warn against the “dictatorship of moral relativism” and “ideological colonization.” Archbishop Valenzuela focused his reflection on the Mass, which carries within itself love of life and family values, and which is the guarantee of the only possible marriage: between a man and a woman.

“One of the threats that hangs over our Eucharistic faith,” he warned, “consists of the media and political obsession of the so-called progressives, who try to blaze the trail, by means of selected elements of language, to a single thought, to an erroneous conception of human rights, based on a change of paradigm radically contrary to the institutions and values ​​of Paraguayan society.” The high Paraguayan prelate continued: “these progressives are trying to implement a strategy of ‘political correctness,’ in order to subject the population to a dictatorship of moral relativism and to ideological colonization.”

And the Archbishop clearly designates those who are, in his eyes, the ones responsible for it: “the tsunami which arrives in our country from the United Nations, the European Union, and the Organization of American States is impressive, with the goal of reducing and controlling the world’s population,” he warned. Stigmatizing the “ambiguous concepts of the gender issues” and “sex education,” the dangers of legalizing abortion and euthanasia, Mgr. Valenzuela addressed the political class, reminding them of their duties “to defend the population against ideological attacks,” and “to protect the family, the cornerstone of society, and human life, from its conception.”

“Under the protection of our Immaculate Virgin, may Paraguay remain free, and always be in favor of life and of the family,” he concluded. Political instability, poverty, and corruption are three factors that undermine Paraguayan society. In power since 2018, President Mario Abdo Benitez, from the Colorado party (parliamentary right) does not have a majority in a Congress more divided than ever. In addition, in a difficult economic context, the aid provided by certain states is an unexpected windfall: the European Union (EU) is thus Paraguay’s largest donor. Aid which is particularly concentrated in the educational field, and which is not without ideological ulterior motives, as the Archbishop of Asuncion pointed out.

In addition, the country’s Constitution limits any civil union to “a man and a woman,” arousing the ire of promoters of the LGBT ideology. However, since January 2018, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH) pressured all the South American states to obtain civil recognition of same-sex unions. Will Paraguay be able to hold out against the progressive ideas that have been instilled in society, and if so for how long? May the Virgin of Caacupé have the last word.