Official Development Assistance (ODA)
Outline of the 2002 White Paper on Official Development Assistance (ODA)


Ministry of Foreign Affairs
April 2003

1. Development Issues as Major Challenges in the 21st Century

- Increased International Attention to Development Issues
As globalization advances, poverty and other global issues have become more serious. The September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States had a great impact on development issues, and the United States and other countries announced increases in their ODA.
- Series of International Conferences on Development
Development has become a main agenda item at international conferences. The ensuring of financial resources for development, harmonization of aid procedures, good governance, selectivity of aid implementation, etc. are major topics of discussion. At these conferences, Japan announced various assistance plans, including the Koizumi Initiative.

2. Japan's ODA to be more Strategic

- Overview of Japan's ODA
Japan places importance on poverty reduction through economic growth and on capacity- and institution-building. Japan formulates country assistance programs and sector-specific initiatives based on Japan's ODA Charter and its Medium-Term Policy on ODA.
- Japan's ODA Extended to the World with a Focus on Asia
Based on its Economic Cooperation Program for China, the Japanese government is reviewing its ODA to China. Japan strengthened its economic partnership with the ASEAN countries and held a Ministerial Meeting on the Initiative for Development in East Asia (IDEA).
- Cooperation for the Consolidation of Peace and Nation-building
Japan provided support for promotion of the peace process, the public security sector, and humanitarian and rehabilitation needs in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Aceh in Indonesia, Mindanao in the Philippines, etc.
- Promotion of Human Security
Japan continues its contributions to the Trust Fund for Human Security (as of Fiscal Year 2001, Japan's contributions totaled around 19 billion yen) and introduced Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (from Fiscal Year 2003).
- Efforts to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals
Japan announced assistance measures and initiatives in such sectors as education, infectious diseases, the environment, and water and sanitation.
- Promotion of International Collaboration
Japan strengthened policy consultations with recipient countries and other donor countries. Japan supports South-South cooperation. Japan strengthened its collaboration with other developed countries and international organizations, including the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

3. Increasing Public Support and Participation--Further Promotion of ODA Reforms

- Severe Domestic Conditions Surrounding ODA and the Acceleration of ODA Reforms
Because of severe economic and fiscal conditions and critical public opinion of ODA, Japan's ODA budget has been decreasing. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) is carrying out various ODA reforms around the key concepts of transparency, efficiency, and public participation.
- Strengthening of ODA Policy-making Functions
Coordination among ODA-related government ministries and agencies has been strengthened through greater utilization of the Council of Overseas Economic Cooperation-Related Ministers and other measures. The Experts Meeting on Financial Cooperation was launched, and the Board on Comprehensive ODA Strategy was established. Country assistance programs were also enhanced.
- Promotion of Public Participation in ODA
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs strengthened the MOFA-NGO Regular Consultations and introduced "ODA-Embassy", which is regular consultation meetings among Japanese embassies, overseas offices of JICA and JBIC, and NGOs. The government also introduced the Special Term for Economic Partnership (STEP) for yen loans. MOFA launched the ODA Mail Magazine and began holding ODA Town Meetings.
- Increasing Transparency and Efficiency in Each Stage of ODA Projects
The government established the Committee for Grant Aid, formulated new environmental guidelines, introduced an ODA audit system by third-party and improved ODA evaluations.

4. New Trends in Japan's ODA

In the future, in addition to moving forward with its ODA reforms, the government is prioritizing assistance to the Asian region, peace-building and human security and is promoting public participation in ODA and aid visibility. The government has also commenced a review of Japan's ODA Charter to further clarify Japan's ODA principles and assistance strategies.