Official Development Assistance (ODA)
Japan's ODA White Paper 2002
Official development assistance today faces a number of problems both internationally and domestically. In the international context, development issues have become a central concern in recent years, especially following the terrorist attacks in the United States. In addition, greater emphasis is being attached to the realization of the Millennium Development Goals adopted by the United Nations. The reason for this is that while some countries are reaping enormous benefits from advances in globalization, a large number of people around the world continue to live in unimaginable and wretched conditions of poverty or in the midst of conflict. There is also a deepening sense of crisis in the international community over the fact that poverty can become a hotbed of terrorism. Last year, therefore, the United States and many European countries announced drastic increases in their ODA budgets, and world leaders took up development issues as a major topic at the Group of Eight Summit, the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, and elsewhere.
On the domestic front, gaining the Japanese public's understanding of ODA has become more crucial due to the prolonged and severe recession and the deterioration of government finances. Since my appointment as Minister for Foreign Affairs in February 2002, I have been vigorously pursuing ODA reform around the three pillars of "transparency," "efficiency," and "public participation." At the same time, I have been making efforts to enhance the strategic aspect of Japan's ODA. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs intends to continue these efforts and to play a central role in strengthening cooperation with other concerned ministries and agencies to implement ODA with an emphasis on Asia, peace building (the consolidation of peace and nation building), and "human security."
Japan's ODA White Paper 2002 introduces these efforts by Japan under the main themes of "strategy" and "reform." We have endeavored to give an explanation of the future direction of Japan's ODA in as much detail as possible, including the revision of Japan's ODA Charter that I announced in December 2002. I would be pleased if this white paper could be of any service in deepening understanding of the development issues and of Japan's ODA.
Minister for Foreign Affairs