Official Development Assistance (ODA)
3. ODA's Contribution to Global Peace and Prosperity Benefits Japan

The serious problems, including poverty, of the developing countries cannot be neglected from the humanistic standpoint. However, the reason that Japan helps the developing countries is not merely because "it is desirable." It is also because ODA's contribution to global peace and prosperity benefits Japan and the Japanese people.

(1) The Problems of the Developing Countries Constitute a Serious Threat to the Rest of the World, Including Japan.

Tackling the following problems through development assistance leads to protecting the life of the Japanese people.

  • Environmental problem: Acid rain could fall on Japan as a result of the industrialization of the Asian countries.
  • Infectious diseases: They may cross borders and spread easily to Japan.
  • Oppression of life due to poverty: This could become the cause of wars and terrorism where the Japanese people could become victims.

(2) The Growth of the Developing Countries' Economies Contributes to the Expansion of Global Economy, Including That of Japan

The growing economies of developing countries benefit the rest of the world through expanding trade and investment. The Japanese economy has also become greatly interdependent with those of growing Asia.

  • Japan exports more to Asian countries ($193 billion) than to the U.S. ($120.9 billion)
  • In the manufacturing sector, Japan's direct investment in 1995 in Asia ($6.5 billion) is larger than that in North America ($4.2 billion).

(3) Japan Depends Greatly on Developing Countries for Basic Materials -- ODA is Vital from the Standpoint of Security

  • Japan depends on the developing countries for more than 40% of its food imports.
  • Japan depends on imports for more than 90% of its energy resources (a large part of which are from developing countries).

Photo (Rwandan refugees estimated at 250,000 cross the border to Tanzania)

Graph : Chart 3 Self-sufficlency Rate of Energy (Primary Energy) in Major Countries (1993)