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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Japan Gives Gifts to Georgian Village

TBILISI, Georgia — The Japanese government gave two tractors and a backhoe to the farming village of Japana, near Georgia’s Black Sea coast, after embassy officials were struck by its name.

“It’s a sweet story,” said Eter Chkonia, a spokeswoman for the Lanchkuti region that includes Japana. “Two years ago, people from the Japanese Embassy drove by and were bowled over by the village’s name. They’ve become close to the villagers and pledged to help. So, here we are. The residents are very happy.”

Chkonia spoke by telephone from Japana on Thursday.

Japanese Ambassador Masayoshi Kamohara presented the farming equipment to the village Thursday, embassy spokesman Zviad Avaliani said by telephone. Japan has pledged $150 million in aid to Georgia, including infrastructure and agriculture projects. The similarity between the names of the country and village is a coincidence.