Official Development Assistance (ODA)
Japan's ODA Annual Report (Summary) 1997

Japan's ODA Annual Report (Summary) 1997

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Why is ODA necessary?

Resource-poor Japan cannot survive today unless the world is stable and prosperous. Official development assistance (ODA) contributes to the stability and prosperity of the world community.

Fifty years ago, Japan rebuilt itself after World War II thanks to foreign aid. We Japanese must not forget that this was how we built the foundations of our present prosperity: loans from the World Bank funded such projects as the construction of the fourth Kurobe Dam (1958 to 1983), the Tokaido Shinkansen (1961 to 1981), and the Tomei and Meishin Highways (1960 to 1990). Now, out of gratitude for the aid it received in the past, it is Japan's important duty to allocate a part of its national wherewithal to fostering the international community's development efforts.

If, as the Japanese Constitution says, "We desire to occupy an honored place in international society" and to bring its ideals to life, and if we desire to ensure our own stability and prosperity in this world of interdependance, we must indeed assume some of the attendant costs on behalf of the international community as a whole.

Despite its difficult financial circumstances today, therefore, Japan must make every effort it can to give ODA to developing countries.

Japan's official development assistance to developing countries is based on the following understandings:

  • Japan must contribute to alleviating the starvation and poverty from which many developing countries suffer even now;
  • Japan recognizes that developing regions' stability and development are essential to the peace and prosperity of the whole world, and likewise that they are directly tied also to its own prosperity;
  • The global problems of environmental degradation and overpopulation affect all humanity and must be tackled jointly by the developed and developing countries working together, and Japan's cooperation must be commensurate with its economic might;
  • Japan will assist developing countries in their own efforts to accomplish economic takeoffs.
  • Japan will share its development experience with other countries, including through human resource development.