Japan's Official Development Assistance White Paper 2005

Main Text > Part II ODA DISBURSEMENTS IN FISCAL YEAR 2004 > Chapter 2 Details and New Policies about Japan's ODA: Striving for Further ODA Reforms > Section 2. Measures for Each of the Priority Issues > 2.Sustainable Growth > (3) Human Resources Development

(3) Human Resources Development

As it is said that "human resources development is the key to nation-building," support for human resources development is one of the important pillars of Japan's assistance. Human resources development helps foster personnel who will directly contribute to nation-building, which forms the foundation for sustainable growth. It also plays a major role in enhancing bilateral relationships by promoting mutual understanding through person-to-person exchanges and establishing personal relations among leaders of various sectors and youths who will lead the future of the developing countries. Assistance for human resources development is also an extremely important factor in strengthening self-help efforts of the developing countries, which is one of the fundamental principles of Japan's ODA.

To foster human resources that will take part in development processes, it is essential to train them not only in primary education, but also in higher education, and practical training in the area of administration and others, and vocational training. Japan provides assistance in this area mainly through acceptance of foreign students, improvement of capabilities and functions of higher educational institutions, capacity enhancement of administrators, development and enhancement of vocational skills, improvement of occupational safety and health, and strengthening of industrial competitiveness. Moreover, for personnel training, IT is often used to provide high quality assistance at a lower cost.

Based on the Plan to Accept 100,000 Foreign Students, 19 Japan has advanced various policies related to accepting foreign students, including systematic development of programs to accept government-sponsored foreign students, support for privately-financed overseas students, promotion of mutual exchange of overseas students, and the enrichment of education guidance and research given to foreign students. The goal of accepting 100,000 students was achieved in May 2003, and as of May 2004, the total number of foreign students that were accepted in Japan was 117,302.

In the future, based on the report submitted by the Central Council for Education in December 2003, Japan will promote further exchanges through efforts both in the areas of accepting foreign students and supporting Japanese students going abroad, and at the same time actively work on policies to secure and improve the quality of students.

Chart 16. Change in the Number of Foreign Students in Japan

Chart 16. Change in the Number of Foreign Students in Japan

Furthermore, Japan provides financial assistance to support the efforts of developing countries for human resources development and dispatch of their students overseas. Specifically, the Grant Aid for Scholarship Program and Exchange Student Loans (ODA loans) are extended to projects related to fostering human resources of developing countries.

Assistance concerning higher education include the development of higher education facilities such as colleges in developing countries, support in improving operation and management capabilities, and developing regional networks among higher education institutions that extend beyond national borders. For example, positioning the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya, for which JICA has been engaged in the development for over 20 years, as one of the bases for human capacity-building in Africa, named AICAD (African Institute for Capacity Development.) Japan has dispatched experts, accepted trainees, provided equipment, and held third country training. The goal of these efforts is to develop regional bases that have three functions: conducting joint research, disseminating the research work, and establishing an information network with Japanese committees including universities.

Concerning vocational skills development, Japan has been dispatching experts and accepting trainees, as well as cooperating in establishing and running related facilities, among other efforts. In FY2004 Japan carried out technical cooperation projects related to vocational skills development through JICA in such countries as Vietnam, Paraguay, Afghanistan, Uganda, Tunisia, Iran, Ecuador, and at the same time provided assistance through such means as acceptance of trainees and dispatch of experts.

Another area of cooperation involving the development of human resources is the assistance in enhancing industrial competitiveness, where Japan has been cooperating in the promotion of small- and medium-sized enterprises ( SMEs ) and development of mineral resources. In recent years such efforts have come to include management engineering, such as system enhancement for industrial development and management skills of productivity improvement, as well as environment- and energy-related cooperation, with the advance of industrialization.

In FY2004 Japan has implemented development studies in Indonesia and Philippines and has been conducting human resource development for SMEs using the SME management consultant system. As the project for consulting SMEs in Thailand has been successful, Japan aims to apply this case to other ASEAN countries.

Training for the Project Cycle Management (PCM) conducted in Argentina. Through this training, the civil servants of Argentina are starting to be able to identify and understand the development challenges and reflect necessary points into their policies
Training for the Project Cycle Management ( PCM ) conducted in Argentina. Through this training, the civil servants of Argentina are starting to be able to identify and understand the development challenges and reflect necessary points into their policies

Moreover, as a way of providing support for the reform efforts of developing countries toward introducing a market economy, Japan has established in many countries the Human Resources Centre for International Cooperation, 20 whose main objective is to develop human resources engaged in economy and business. As of March 2005, such centers have been set up in Laos, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Mongolia, and are planned to be built in Cambodia and Myanmar as well. Furthermore, as a way to eliminate the disparities among ASEAN countries, Japan has been implementing the ASEAN Japan Collaboration Programme for Human Resources Development (for CLMV member countries), which assists in establishing the infrastructure for human resource development in ASEAN's CLMV countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam, a group that came into ASEAN later), and promotes technical cooperation related to human capacity-building between the CLMV countries and other ASEAN countries. In FY2004 Japan held lectures, conducted tours of related institutions, and held dialogues aimed for the CLMV countries in Japan and Indonesia on the overall policies of vocational skills development, with a focus on fostering vocational trainers, and later assisted those who participated in such activities in holding seminars within their home countries. Moreover, in accordance with the situation of each developing country, Japan has been implementing such projects as the Skills Evaluation System Promotion Program, which aims to assist in developing systems that appropriately assess the capacity of workers. Furthermore, Japan has been promoting the Japan-ASEAN Social Partnership Promotion Programme, which aims to stabilize employer-employee relations within developing countries in Asia; Training Project of Personnel Manager in Developing Countries, which aims to improve the personnel and labor management capacities of companies; and manager training programs in China and Mongolia in particular aimed at improving the quality of personnel and labor managements of companies.