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Japan's FM pledges more aid to Syrian refugees

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July 26, 2013 09:40 AM EST | AP

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ZAATARI, Jordan — Japan's foreign minister says Tokyo will increase its aid to Syrian refugees living in a desert camp in Jordan and help provide better sanitation there.

Fumio Kishida's pledge followed his visit Friday to Zaatari camp, home to 120,000 Syrians and just across the border from Syria.

Kishida was shown the camp's limited and basic washing facilities, which lack shower areas and which have been blamed for poor sanitation in Zaatari.

Parched Jordan says it can do little and that the refugees are exhausting the country's meager water resources.

Kishida says that "considering the hot desert climate here, we feel the importance, indeed the urgency, to help out in this area."

He says Japan contributed $95 million to Syrian refugees who fled to other countries since the conflict erupted in 2011.