TOKYO, SEPT. 20 -- The Japanese government and the six Arab nations comprising the Gulf Cooperation Council will set up a fund to manage the money Japan has pledged to back the U.S.-led multinational force on the Arabian Peninsula.
Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu's cabinet was scheduled to approve the plan formally Friday. Japanese government officials said Abdullah Yacoub Bisharah of Kuwait, who heads the GCC, has agreed to coordinate the Japanese grants.
The new fund will channel most of the $2 billion Japan has promised in support of the multinational force opposing Iraq. Japan also will pay $2 billion in economic aid directly to the "front-line" states of Egypt, Jordan and Turkey.
The GCC was established in 1981 by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. In essence, the new fund will let Japan use the council to transfer Japanese money to the American military, the bulwark of the allied military unit.
Japan sought to channel its support through an intermediary organization to avoid potential problems with Japanese law, diplomats here said. Japan had considered the United Nations, but chose the GCC because it seemed less likely to get into a dispute over control of the fund.
Initially, Japan will put about $900 million into the fund, adding $1 billion when its fiscal year starts in April.