FY2011 Priority Policy for International Cooperation

February 17, 2012

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) designs and announces its priority policy for international cooperation every fiscal year to define the priorities in the area of international cooperation as a part of its efforts to better reflect the most updated development on the foreign policy front as well as in the field of development.


  • In order to recover as early as possible from the Great East Japan Earthquake—which took place in March 2011—"Open Reconstruction" in collaboration with the international community as well as with the private sector is of utmost importance. Therefore, the top priority of FY2011 is to make the most of ODA to contribute to realizing "Open Reconstruction."
  • The three priorities of FY2011 are:
    1. a) To firsthand contribute to the reconstruction of disaster areas as well as to the disaster prevention and mitigation in close coordination with various actors engaged in development assistance,
    2. b) To contribute to Japan's robust economic growth, which supports the recovery and reconstruction of Japan, and
    3. c) To respond to solidarity and faith shown by other countries in the aftermath of Japan's disaster by faithfully implementing the existing commitments Japan made in the past.

Detailed Description of Priorities

Priority I

[Utilize useful knowledge of international development actors]

  • For post-disaster restoration, Japn will make full use of knowledge that Japanese Governmental Organization (NGOs) possess from their international cooperation experiences, former members of the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers, and development consultants who have experience and knowledge on conflict/disaster relief and reconstruction assistance. MOFA and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will also enhance their support programs in order to assist NGO activities in a flexible manner, and will further promote international cooperation in collaboration with NGOs.

[Assist industries in disaster-affected areas]

  • Japan will utilize products made in the disaster-stricken areas for Japan's ODA in order to contribute to the reconstruction. In addition, Japan will encourage foreign trainees' tours to the disaster areas, thereby disseminating accurate information and countering harmful rumors. Japan will also accommodate foreign trainees and others in the disaster-affected areas, paying due respect to the conditions in each local area.

[Share lessons and knowledge on tsunami response with international community]

  • In order to share with foreign countries the lessons and knowledge learned from the last disaster, Japan will promote international cooperation with emphasis on human ties. Such efforts include information sharing of related administrative experiences, strengthened capacity-building assistance for promoting counter measures against natural disasters, like earthquake and tsunami, as well as activities of emergency rescue teams. (In the future, Japan will seek to open up an international center in the Tohoku region which specifically focuses on tsunami-counter measures.)

Priority II

[Export Japan's advanced infrastructure to overseas]

  • For the recovery of the Japanese economy hit hard by the disaster, Japan will assist Japanese businesses in exporting infrastructure to overseas. Bearing in mind the overseas promotion of Japan's disaster-resistant infrastructure technologies, Japan will employ such technologies in ODA projects. For example, Japan will promote cooperation in establishing legal systems through technical assistance, and will improve a social environment through capacity-building efforts. In that process, Japan will share with developing countries Japan's standards and systems which have an advantage in quake resistance. In the area of financing, Japan will mainly provide ODA loans to improve the business environment—such as airports, seaports and roads—which is crucial for private firms to do business there, as well as grant aid for surrounding infrastructure and model infrastructure projects.

[Improve environment for trade and investment]

  • In light of the importance of activating private-sector activities such as foreign trade and investment for the sustained economic growth of developing countries, Japan will work to improve both hard and soft infrastructures in developing countries, develop rules, institutions and human resources concerning trade and investment, enhance governance in such areas as intellectual property protection and competition policy, and help overcome obstacles to growth such as deterioration of the urban environment and the spread of infectious diseases, thereby improving the business environment for Japanese firms in developing countries. In particular, Japan will assist in strengthening the connectivity of the ASEAN region where many Japanese firms operate.

[Promote Japan's advanced environmental technologies and measures against climate change]

  • Considering greater weight of renewable energy and energy-saving technologies in Japan's energy policy after the disaster, Japan will assist the diffusion of Japan's advanced technologies in developing countries through ODA as a means of Japan's contribution to the promotion of measures to address climate change and to the realization of the green growth.

[Ensure the stable supply of natural resources and energy]

  • Japan will seek to promote the stable development of countries exporting natural resources and food, their surrounding regions, and will build comprehensive and strategic relations with these countries, not only following Japan's basic assistance policy toward those countries but also by making active use of ODA. These efforts will be made in order to secure the stable supply of natural resources, energy and food, and to promote diversification of supply sources, while anticipating greater demand in Japan for natural resources and energy necessary for post-disaster reconstruction. For maintaining the security of sea lanes, Japan will also assist the stable development and strengthening of capabilities of countries along the sea lanes. Furthermore, Japan will promote cooperation with developing countries for the stable supply of energy, paying due attention to the environment.

Priority III


  • Japan will steadily implement the "Kan Commitment" announced during the U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Summit in September 2010. Japan will also strengthen efforts toward the achievement of the MDGs by 2015 in order to promote human security, based on the outcomes of the MDGs Follow-up Meeting held in June 2011. In particular, Japan will enhance efforts to address health and education issues.
  • In the field of health, Japan will provide 5 billion US dollars in assistance over five years beginning in 2011. This includes contributions amounting to 800 million US dollars in the coming years for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, in order to contribute to acceleration of progress towards MDGs 4 and 5 as well as further progress in MDG 6 concerning HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, by ensuring the enhancement of the sustainable health systems.
  • In the education sector, Japan will provide 3.5 US billion dollars in assistance over five years beginning in 2011, seeking to provide a high-quality educational environment for at least 7 million children in developing countries.

[Assistance to Africa]

  • Japan will continue to faithfully implement the pledges made at the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) in May 2008, which encompass a diverse range of efforts, including the doubling of ODA to Africa by 2012 (excluding debt relief), of which grant aid for Africa is to be doubled, and assistance that will lead to the doubling of Japan's private investment to Africa. Japan takes note that efforts in sub-Saharan Africa are crucial to achieve the MDGs. As for ODA loans, in light of its pledge in TICAD IV commitment, Japan will actively assist the development of region-wide infrastructure, agriculture and rural areas, through efforts including the expansion of recipient countries and eligible sectors.

[Assistance to Afghanistan and Pakistan]

  • Japan pledged in November 2009 to provide assistance of up to the amount of 5 US billion dollars over a period of approximately five years from 2009, based on the future situation in Afghanistan. The assistance program featured the following three major goals: a) the enhancement of capabilities to maintain security, b) reintegration of former rank-and-file Taliban soldiers into the society, and c) sustainable and self-reliant development. Japan will continue to steadily put these assistance measures into specific actions (focusing on the strengthening of security maintenance capabilities (policemen's salary payment, training and literacy education) and on the enhancement of governance of the central and local governments, in order to contribute to the security transition process and reintegration). In addition, Japan will continue to assist Pakistan's anti-terrorism and economic-reform efforts.
  • Considering that Central Asia constitutes a single tract of land together with Afghanistan and Pakistan, Japan will strengthen its assistance to the region, helping promote regional development.

[Assistance to the Mekong region]

  • At the Mekong-Japan Summit Meeting in November 2009, Japan designated the Mekong region as a priority area and expanded its ODA to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam as well as to the region as a whole, pledging to provide ODA of more than 500 billion yen for three years from FY 2010 for the prosperity of the Mekong region. The assistance is based on the following three major policy pillars: a) comprehensive development in the Mekong region, b) environment and climate change as well as overcoming vulnerability, and c) expanding cooperation and exchanges. Japan will faithfully implement its pledge.

[Fast-start financial assistance in the area of climate change]

  • Japan announced in December 2009 to provide financial assistance up to 2012 of approximately 15 billion US dollars including public and private finance, of which public finance comprises approximately 11 billion US dollars. This assistance aims to support developing countries, especially those making efforts to reduce gas emission and/or being particularly vulnerable to climate change. Taking into account the developments in the international negotiations, Japan will steadily implement the assistance.

[Support to Middle East and North Africa countries' reforms]

  • Securing peace and stability in the Middle East and North Africa is extremely important for Japan's energy security, and it has become the most important challenge faced by the international community. The region, which has entered a period of historic transformation, stands at a critical juncture, calling for Japan's active contribution as a key member of the international community. Building on its past experiences in contributing to the growth and stability of Asia, Japan will rally public-private partnership to assist the region's self-help efforts for stable regime changes and domestic reforms. This policy is based on the following three major policy goals: a) fair political process and government, b) human resource development, and c) job creation and fostering of industries.

[Assistance to Pacific island countries]

  • At the Fifth Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting in May 2009, Japan pledged to provide assistance of approximately 50 billion yen in three years, focusing on the following three major policy areas: a) environment and climate change, b) overcoming vulnerabilities, and promoting human security, and c) enhancing people-to-people exchanges. Japan will implement the pledge faithfully.

[Emergency and humanitarian assistance to post-conflict and disaster-affected areas as well as assistance for peace-building efforts]

  • Concerning disasters and conflicts that could take place all around the world in the future, Japan will actively continue to provide emergency and humanitarian assistance, in cooperation with international organizations, making full use of its knowledge of and experience in disaster response, and thus returning favors to the international community that assisted Japan after the disaster.
  • Japan will overcome the difficulties caused by the disaster and show to the world that Japan's active contribution toward international community remains unchanged as one of its key members. Specifically, Japan will implement assistance in a manner that pays due attention to the vulnerability of developing countries, creates jobs for people to recognize the "peace dividend" by themselves, promotes the "human resources development" that supports "nation-building," and thus assists the construction of a governance system, while promoting Japan's peace-building concept aimed at providing seamless assistance in the peace-building process. To be more specific, Japan will actively assist countries such as the Philippines (Mindanao), East Timor, Sri Lanka, Nepal, the Solomon Islands, Iraq, Palestine, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Haiti.

Back to Index