Japan says it will host a minister-level conference in January on rebuilding Afghanistan.
The announcement came today (Tuesday) in Washington at a meeting on Afghan reconstruction sponsored by Japan and the United States.
U-S Secretary of State Colin Powell opened the meeting by saying the world can not walk away from Afghanistan like it did after Soviet forces withdrew from the country in 1989.
Twenty donor countries and organizations are attending the Washington conference -- including high level officials from several European and Middle Eastern nations. They hope to set priorities for the reconstruction effort and get an idea of how much aid will be needed to get Afghanistan on its feet (revive the country).
On Monday, the head of the U-N development agency (Mark Malloch-Brown) said it would take at least five years and several billion dollars to rebuild Afghanistan. The country has suffered through 22 years of nearly continuous war since the 1979 Soviet invasion.