The Japanese Government has decided to provide between 10 and 15 billion JPY to a water project in Vietnam as early as this year through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Nikkei said.

JICA will either loan or invest the sum in a joint venture to be set up by Japanese and Vietnamese firms, the Japanese daily of Nikkei reported, adding that Vietnam's Viwaseen Corp. and Japan's Metawater Co. are expected to participate in the venture.

The project, estimated to cost 50 billion JPY, involves building and running water supply networks and sewerage treatment facilities in Hanoi and its environs.

JICA is expected to start an official project assessment this month.

In addition to the water system, JICA will soon start screening other foreign-aid projects, such as school construction in Vietnam and an anti-poverty initiative in Pakistan./.