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 4. Operational Status of the Principle of ODA Implementation

Section 4. Operational Status of the Principle of ODA Implementation

Japan implements ODA in accordance with the stipulations of the ODA Charter. The principle of ODA implementation is based on the philosophy of this ODA Charter (objectives, basic policies, priority issues, and priority regions). The Charter stipulates that Japan's ODA will be provided comprehensively taking into account developing countries' need for assistance, socio-economic conditions. Japan's bilateral relations with the recipient country, and that ODA will be provided in accordance with the principles of the United Nations (especially sovereign equality and non-intervention in domestic matters) as well as the following points:

(1) Environmental conservation and development should be pursued in tandem.
(2) Any use of ODA for military purposes or for aggravation of international conflicts should be avoided.

(3) Full attention should be paid to trends in recipient countries' military expenditures, development and production of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), etc.

(4) Full attention should be paid to efforts for promoting democratization and the introduction of a market-oriented economy, and the situation regarding the protection of basic human rights and freedoms in the recipient country.

In operating according to the principle of ODA implementation it is important to pay particular attention to trends such as the military expenditure in developing countries, the development and production of WMDs and missiles, and their import or export of arms. Additionally, the promotion of democratization, efforts towards the introduction of a market economy, efforts to improve the status of human rights and freedom, as well as responding to these items in an appropriate and timely manner are also critical. In the event that the recipient country is moving in an appropriate direction, it is important to actively promote such moves through ODA in conjunction with other diplomatic means. On the other hand, when unfavorable movements are seen, after having made diplomatic approaches to request efforts to ameliorate the situation, ODA may be revised for the country concerned and may even be halted once comprehensive assessments of the political, economic, and social situations have been made to see whether there have been any improvement compared with the past situation.

In the event of specific operation of the principle of ODA implementation, it is vital that judgments are made not by mechanically adhering to a series of set standards, but by comprehensive evaluation on a case-by-case basis that considers the various conditions in the recipient country, such as background and past conditions.

In addition, when applying the principle of ODA implementation, humanitarian considerations for the people in the developing country must also be taken into account. In the event that ODA is suspended or reduced according to the principle of ODA implementation, it is the ordinary people of the developing country in question that will suffer the most serious impact, in particular the impoverished people. Consequently, even in cases in which it has been decided to suspend or reduce ODA, it is necessary to combine such judgment with measures that give special consideration to the implementation of emergency or humanitarian assistance.

Furthermore, Japan has been contributing actively to peace-building through ODA in recent years. Given that materials provided through ODA by Japan must not be used for military purposes, it is also necessary that the principle of ODA implementation should be considered when ODA is provided for peace-building activities. This point is also confirmed in the New Medium-Term Policy on ODA, which advocates the implementation of assistance to strengthen law and order and prevent the recurrence of conflict in compliance with the ODA Charter.

The principle of ODA implementation laid out in the ODA Charter should be adhered to in all forms of ODA. Specific examples in which conflicts with the principle have arisen are as follows: