What do you say if you’re a corrupt leader of an impoverished country with one trillion dollars’ worth of minerals visiting the resource-poor #2 economy in the world?

In exchange for billions in Japanese foreign aid now, Hamid Karzai unsubtly hints Japan could get preferential treatment in future Afghan mineral exploitation.

Japan, the second-largest donor to Afghanistan following the U.S., has helped the country reintegrate former Taliban soldiers, and given humanitarian and reconstruction aid to improve infrastructure, education and health. Most recently, it pledged to give up to $5 billion for five years starting in 2009.

“Morally, Afghanistan should give access as a priority to those countries that have helped Afghanistan massively in the past few years,” he said, noting Japan has been his country’s No. 2 aid donor.

“What . . . we have to reciprocate with is this opportunity of mineral resources, that we must return at the goodwill of the Japanese people by giving Japan priority to come and explore and extract,” he said. (Link)

Wow. Just wow. Hamid Karzai as a bastard child of Boss Tweed and Wimpy.

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A contributor and editor at the blog War Is Boring, Kyle Mizokami started Japan Security Watch in 2010 to further understand Japan's defenses and security policy.
Kyle Mizokami has 530 post(s) on Japan Security Watch