Japan's Official Development Assistance White Paper 2005

Main Text > Part I JAPAN'S EFFORTS TOWARD ACHIEVING THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS (MDGs) > Chapter 2 Specific Measures by Japan toward Achieving the MDGs > Section 4. New Developments in Japan's ODA

Section 4. New Developments in Japan's ODA

2005 was the first year for reviewing the progress toward achieving the MDGs, and many important conferences on development issues were held. This section overviews Japan's ODA measures which have been newly announced for achieving the MDGs in major international conferences.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Machimura gives a speech at the Special Meeting on Financing for Development (September 2005)
Minister for Foreign Affairs Machimura gives a speech at the Special Meeting on Financing for Development (September 2005)

(1) Asian-African Summit and Asian-African Ministerial Meeting (April 2005)

In April 2005, an Asian-African Summit and Asian-African Ministerial Meeting (Commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of the Asian-African Conference 1955) were held in Jakarta, Indonesia with the attendance of leaders from 122 countries and international organizations. The determination of each leader toward achieving the MDGs was expressed in the "Declaration on the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership ( NAASP )" adopted at the summit, which states "We are determined to meet the internationally agreed targets and goals aimed at poverty eradication, development, and growth, and underline the necessity for all parties to honour their commitments in this regard." Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobutaka Machimura attended from Japan and announced the following measures for realizing economic development in the Asian and African regions.

A. ODA Expansion and Enhancement

In his speech, Prime Minister Koizumi announced, "Japan will continue its efforts towards the goal of providing official development assistance ( ODA ) of 0.7% of our gross national income in order to contribute to the Millennium Development Goals. From this point of view, Japan will ensure a credible and sufficient level of ODA." He also announced that Japan would provide more than US$2.5 billion over the next five years in assistance for disaster prevention, mitigation, and reconstruction measures in Asia, Africa, and other regions.

B. Assistance toward Africa

Regarding assistance toward Africa, Prime Minister Koizumi announced that Japan would hold the TICAD IV in 2008 and double its ODA to Africa in the ensuing three years with grant aid continuing to be its central feature. Furthermore, Prime Minister has announced that Japan would strengthen cooperation between Asia and Africa by fostering human resources in 10,000 Africans over the next four years through providing assistance in applying to Africa the knowledge garnered through Asia's movement towards higher productivity 23 and creating an Asia-Africa Young Volunteers program.

(2) G8 Gleneagles Summit (July 2005)

Assistance to Africa was one of the major agenda items at the G8 Gleneagles Summit held in the United Kingdom. The Summit document "Africa" states, "We should continue the G8 focus on Africa, which is the only continent not on track to meet any of the Goals of the Millennium Declaration by 2015," and makes clear the issues and efforts to be taken for African Development. It also said that many of the measures proposed for Africa have a wider applicability to the developing world as a whole, and called on other leaders and institutions to work together to achieve a successful UN Summit in September.

Japan announced that it would make the following efforts with development assistance for Africa in mind.

A. Strategic Expansion of the Volume of ODA

Japan announced its intention to strategically increase its ODA volume by US$10 billion in aggregate compared to its 2004 level over the next five years, and to double its ODA to Africa in the next three years.

B. Expansion of Assistance for Healthcare

In order to contribute to achieving the health-related MDGs, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa where there is a serious degree of delay in progress, Japan announced that it would provide assistance amounting to US$5 billion over the next five years - with African people being the primary beneficiaries - based on the "Health and Development" Initiative ( HDI ). This will be done with a view to improving health care for children and combating infectious diseases. Japan also announced that it would contribute an additional US$500 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria in the coming years.

C. Assistance for Rural Development and Realization of a "Green Revolution" in Africa

As about 70% of African people live in rural areas, the development of agriculture and the improvement of village life are indispensable for social and economic stability in Africa. Japan thus announced : (1) assistance for the realization of a "Green Revolution" that increases agricultural productivity, (2) assistance for the development of roads, agricultural markets and local industries in order to strengthen the linkage between rural areas and cities, and (3) promotion of the "African Village Initiative," *1 which comprehensively supports improvement of livelihood and self-reliance in rural villages.

D. Assistance to Promote Trade and Investment

Japan announced that it would promote trade and investment in Africa by providing up to US$1.2 billion in five years to implement "Enhanced Private Sector Assistance (EPSA) for Africa" *2 Japan also announced that it would promote trade and investment between Japan and Africa by facilitating trade insurance and further expanding market access to products from the least developed countries ( LDCs ), among other measures.

E. Other

Japan also committed to strengthening Asia-Africa cooperation and to consolidating peace in Africa.

(3) High-level Plenary Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly (September 2005)

This high-level plenary meeting was held in New York with the attendance of the leaders from 188 countries in order to follow up on the United Nations Millennium Declaration. At the Summit, it was reaffirmed that all countries must make further efforts toward achieving the MDGs by 2015. The Outcome Document adopted on the final day of the summit, approximately 50% of which was devoted to development issues, made proposals regarding such areas as: (1) establishment of a global partnership concerning development between developed countries and developing countries, (2) mobilization of financial resources for development by developed countries, including efforts to achieve the target of 0.7 per cent of gross national product for ODA and other assistance, (3) mobilization of domestic resources for development by developing countries, (4) debt relief, (5) the importance of trade and investment, (6) the South-South cooperation, (7) the importance of efforts in social fields such as education, health care, and gender, (8) rural and agricultural development, (9) the environment and sustainable development, and (10) assistance that meets the special needs of Africa and other regions.

A. Japan's Contributions

Minister for Foreign Affairs Machimura attended the Special Meeting on Financing for Development held during the plenary meeting, where he announced again that Japan would aim to expand its ODA volume by US$10 billion in aggregate over the next five years, double its ODA to Africa in the next three years, and make efforts to improve the quality and effectiveness of assistance among other measures. He also emphasized the importance of approaches such as human security, ownership by the developing countries, and the South-South cooperation. In a Security Council Summit Meeting also held during the plenary meeting, Foreign Minister Machimura announced that Japan would soon hold a TICAD international conference on issues arising in post-conflict situations in Africa. Prime Minister Koizumi, in attendance at the plenary meeting, and Foreign Minister Machimura, in attendance at the Special Meeting on Financing for Development, both stated that actions rather than statements of good intentions are needed to achieve the MDGs and stressed the importance of developed countries, including Japan, translating the commitments they have made into decisive action.

Japan also took this opportunity to present a report on its contribution to the MDG 8 ("Building Global Partnerships for Development"), a goal to be advanced primarily by the developed countries (see Box 4 for the details of this report).

In addition, Japan held two side events on the themes of "Role of International Community in Delivering Research and Technology Applications that Enhance Small Farmer Incomes and Food Availability in Developing Countries" and "Economic Empowerment of Rural Women" in cooperation with related international institutions, developing countries, and other parties. The former event introduced the new strain of rice named NERICA (New Rice for Africa), the development of which Japan has actively cooperated with as one measure to promote agriculture in Africa. It emphasized the important role of agricultural development in achieving the MDGs and the results of Japan's steady efforts thus far as the largest contributor of agricultural assistance. In the latter event, Japan noted that bringing out the latent potential of rural women contributes not only to the realization of gender equality and poverty reduction, but also to the achievement of the MDGs. Japan also announced that it would implement assistance taking into considerations the gender perspective at each level of development assistance in accordance with the Initiative on Gender and Development ( GAD ), which was announced by Japan in March 2005.

B. Launch of the US-Japan Strategic Development Alliance

At a Japan-US foreign ministerial meeting held on this occasion (General Assembly of the United Nations 2005), both countries reached an agreement that they would cooperate for achieving the MDGs. Furthermore, the two countries agreed to launch the US-Japan Strategic Development Alliance based on the recognition that cooperation between them - the world's two largest donors' would help developing countries implement policies that ensure the most effective use of assistance. Japan and the US issued a joint statement outlining common development principles including poverty reduction through economic growth, sustainability through country ownership, capacity building and empowerment, and development and security. Japan and the US will focus on selected strategically important countries in order for them to provide assistance effectively.

As seen in this section, the MDGs are shared development goals and objectives for international society in the 21st century, and their realization is an international commitment. As Foreign Minister Machimura stated at the Asian-African Ministerial Meeting, Japan follows upon its promises. Japan will continue contributing actively to the achievement of the MDGs by steadily implementing the measures mentioned above.