Section 2 Japan's Policy on Official Development Assistance
1. The Development Cooperation Charter (approved by Cabinet decision in February 2015)
Development Cooperation Charter
February 10, 2015
Japan's Official Development Assistance Charter, decided by the Cabinet in 1992 and revised in 2003, has been the foundation of Japan's Official Development Assistance (ODA) policy.
Currently, as it commemorates the 60th anniversary of its ODA, Japan and the international community are at a major crossroads. In this new era, Japan must strongly lead the international community, as a nation that contributes even more proactively to securing peace, stability and prosperity of the international community from the perspective of “Proactive Contribution to Peace” based on the principle of international cooperation, while continuing to adhere to the course that it has taken to date as a peace-loving nation. This is also a juncture at which Japan's ODA activities should further evolve so as to strengthen further its role as an equal partner of developing countries in the joint efforts to address challenges facing the international community.
In the international community today, a huge amount of private funding flows to the developing countries, and various actors including the private sector, local governments, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are involved in global activities. These actors play important roles in dealing with development challenges and promoting sustainable growth in developing countries. Under these circumstances, Japan needs to address such development challenges not only through ODA but also by mobilizing various other resources.
Based on this recognition, the Government of Japan revises the ODA Charter and hereby establishes the Development Cooperation Charter, also bearing in mind the National Security Strategy decided by the Cabinet on December 17, 2013.
For the purpose of this Charter, the term “development cooperation” refers to “international cooperation activities that are conducted by the government and its affiliated agencies for the main purpose of development in developing regions.” In this connection, “development” in this Charter is used in a broader sense rather than in the narrow sense; it also encompasses such activities as peacebuilding and governance, promotion of basic human rights and humanitarian assistance.
Such development cooperation needs to enhance synergetic effects for development through strengthened collaboration with other funding and activities of the Government of Japan and its affiliated agencies such as Other Official Flows (OOFs) and United Nations Peacekeeping operations (PKOs) as well as with private funding and activities whose objective is development or which contribute to development (i.e., funding and activities of various entities such as the private sector, local governments and NGOs).
Development Cooperation Charter
-For peace, prosperity and a better future for everyone-
At present the international community is in the midst of a transformation. It is experiencing changes in the global power balance on an unprecedented scale, an expansion of international economic activity due to rapid progress in globalization and technological innovation, deepening interdependency, and the growing influence of various non-state actors. Against this background, all kinds of risks in every part of the world can have a direct negative impact on the peace, stability and prosperity of the world including Japan. These risks range from transboundary challenges such as environmental issues and climate change, water-related issues, natural disasters, food crises and hunger, energy issues, and infectious disease, threats to the peace and stability of the international community such as international terrorism, transnational organized crimes, and piracy, to humanitarian issues in fragile states, regional conflicts, and political instability. In addition, as emerging and developing countries are taking on more economic importance, economic growth in these countries will affect the course of the growth of the global economy. Inclusive, sustainable and resilient growth in these countries is thus essential for the stable growth of the global economy as a whole. Furthermore, in light of Japan's current economic and social situation, deepening its cooperative relations with the international community including the emerging and developing countries and tapping into their vigor are the keys to its own sustainable prosperity. Amid all these changes, a peaceful, stable and prosperous international community is increasingly intertwined with the national interests of Japan. To secure its national interests, it is essential for Japan, as a “Proactive Contributor to Peace” based on the principle of international cooperation, to work together with the international community including developing countries to address global challenges.
The development challenges confronting the world have also changed significantly. While many countries, notably emerging countries, achieved progress in development, even such countries are experiencing problems such as political and economic instability owing to poor governance and other factors, internal disparities, sustainability issues, and the “middle income trap.” Furthermore, countries such as small island countries have particular vulnerability and other issues that have emerged which cannot be assessed by income levels alone. In addition, countries are being left behind in terms of growth due to various vulnerabilities resulting from internal conflicts and political instability as well as their geological and climate conditions. To overcome such vulnerabilities, these countries are urgently in need not only of humanitarian assistance but also securing the stable foundations of development such as peace, stability, rule of law, governance and democratization, as well as setting in motion the process of development. In addition, in context of inclusive development that leaves no one behind, it is important to ensure that a wide range of stakeholders in society including women participate in every phase of development. As such, the world is facing more diverse and complex challenges. These challenges are increasingly widespread, transcending national borders as the world is increasingly globalized. In the world faced with such difficult challenges, individual countries are required more than ever to exercise ingenuity and take action.
Bearing in mind the recognition described above, Japan will implement development cooperation, that is, “international cooperation activities conducted by the government and its affiliated agencies for the main purpose of development in developing regions,” based on the philosophy described below.
(1) Objectives of development cooperation
Japan recognizes that all peoples of the world have the right to live in peace, free from fear and want. Since 1954, when it joined the Colombo Plan, Japan has consistently sought peace and prosperity of the international community, supported the development efforts of developing countries through development cooperation that centers on its official development assistance (ODA), and made efforts to solve global issues. This embodies the basic stance of Japan to earnestly tackle challenges facing the international community as a responsible major player. Many years of Japan's steady down-to-earth efforts to this end has won the respect and confidence of the international community, which expects Japan to play a more proactive role for the peace, stability and prosperity of the international community in a way commensurate with its national capabilities.
Japan overcame a range of problems and realized a period of high economic growth and a peaceful stable society with a small economic disparity to become the first developed country in Asia. At the same time, Japan has taken advantage of its philosophy in development cooperation, experience and expertise to deliver distinctive cooperation to Asian and other countries to support their economic growth. In these processes, it has experienced many successes and failures, and has accumulated a wealth of experience, expertise and lessons learned. The experience, expertise and lessons thus learned are not limited to those from the postwar high-growth period but also those from addressing present challenges such as declining and aging population, and reconstruction after the earthquake. Such experience, expertise and lessons learned contribute to addressing development challenges facing the world today, and the international community also has high expectations in this regard.
Bearing in mind the expectations of the international community, Japan, as a responsible major player in the world, will contribute more actively and exert strong leadership in addressing challenges facing the international community - especially development challenges and humanitarian concerns. Doing so is of great significance from the perspective of solidifying the confidence that the international community has in Japan.
In today's international community, it is no longer possible for any nation to secure peace and prosperity by itself. Under such circumstances, the path Japan should take to continue developing a prosperous and peaceful society lies in a serious effort to tackle various global challenges in cooperation with the international community, including developing countries, for a peaceful, stable and prosperous international community, and, in this process, to build solid and constructive relationships with various actors in the international community. Development cooperation provides one of the most important means for Japan in its agile implementation of such diplomacy; it carries significance as an “investment for the future.”
Based on this recognition, Japan will promote development cooperation in order to contribute more proactively to the peace, stability and prosperity of the international community. Such cooperation will also lead to ensuring Japan's national interests such as maintaining its peace and security, achieving further prosperity, realizing an international environment that provides stability, transparency and predictability, and maintaining and protecting an international order based on universal values.
In the present international community, various actors including private companies, local governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) play an increasingly important role in addressing development challenges and supporting sustained growth of developing countries. It is therefore important to mobilize a wider range of resources that are not limited to ODA. In this context, ODA, as the core of various activities that contribute to development, will serve as a catalyst for mobilizing a wide range of resources in cooperation with various funds and actors and, by extension, as an engine for various activities aimed at securing peace, stability and prosperity of the international community.
(2) Basic policies
Japan's development cooperation for the objectives described above should be based on the philosophy that has been formed over its long history and should be further developed. In this context, the directions for development cooperation are defined as basic policies below:
A. Contributing to peace and prosperity through cooperation for non-military purposes
Japan's development cooperation has contributed to peace and prosperity of the world through cooperation for non-military purposes, which is one of the most suitable modalities for international contribution. Japan has consistently followed the path of a peace-loving nation since the end of World War II. Japan's development cooperation has been highly regarded by the international community as an embodiment of the country's sincere aspirations for peace and prosperity of the international community. Japan will continue to uphold this policy and comply with the principle of avoiding any use of development cooperation for military purposes or for aggravation of international conflicts, in proactively contributing to securing peace, stability and prosperity of the international community.
B. Promoting human security
Human security - a concept that pursues the right of individuals to live happily and in dignity, free from fear and want, through their protection and empowerment - is the guiding principle that lies at the foundation of Japan's development cooperation. Japan will thus focus its development cooperation on individuals - especially those liable to be vulnerable such as children, women, persons with disabilities, the elderly, refugees and internally-displaced persons, ethnic minorities, and indigenous peoples - and provide cooperation for their protection and empowerment so as to realize human security. At the same time, Japan will make efforts so that this basic policy will be understood and accepted widely among its partner countries, thereby mainstreaming the concept even further in the international community. Likewise, from the standpoint of its people-centered approach, Japan will also proactively contribute to promoting basic human rights, including women's rights.
C. Cooperation aimed at self-reliant development through assistance for self-help efforts as well as dialogue and collaboration based on Japan's experience and expertise
In its development cooperation, Japan has maintained the spirit of jointly creating things that suit partner countries while respecting ownership, intentions and intrinsic characteristics of the country concerned based on a field-oriented approach through dialogue and collaboration. It has also maintained the approach of building reciprocal relationships with developing countries in which both sides learn from each other and grow and develop together. These are some of the good traditions of Japan's cooperation which have supported self-help efforts of developing countries and aimed at future self-reliant development. On the basis of these traditions, Japan will continue to provide cooperation aimed at developing countries' self-reliant development by emphasizing their own initiatives and self-help efforts as well as further deepening dialogue and collaboration with them while taking advantage of Japan's experience and expertise. In these processes, Japan will attach importance to building the foundations of self-help efforts and self-reliant development such as human resources, socio-economic infrastructure, regulations and institutions. It will also go beyond waiting for requests from partner countries by focusing on dialogue and collaboration with diverse actors not limited to governments and regional agencies of these countries, including proactively presenting proposals while giving full consideration to policies, programs and institutions related to development in the country concerned.
II. Priority policies
(1) Priority issues
In line with the philosophy described above, Japan sets out the following priority issues for development cooperation, while taking note of the inter-relationships between them, in order to deal with development challenges that are becoming more diverse, complex and broadly based, and also to achieve peace, stability and prosperity of the international community.
A. “Quality growth” and poverty eradication through such growth
The world's poor population is still large in number, and reducing poverty, especially eradicating absolute poverty, is the most fundamental development challenge. Especially as regards fragile states that have not been able to grasp the opportunities for development for different reasons and as regards people in vulnerable situations, it is important to provide both assistance from a humanitarian point of view and assistance designed to set the development process in motion and overcome vulnerability.
At the same time, in order to resolve the poverty issue in a sustainable manner, it is essential to achieve economic growth through human resources development, infrastructure development and establishment of regulations and institutions as well as the growth of the private sector enabled by the aforementioned actions, which are aimed at self-reliant development of developing countries. However, such growth should not be merely quantitative in nature, given that some of the countries that have achieved a measure of economic growth face challenges such as widening disparities, sustainability issues, inadequate social development, and political and economic instability. Rather, it should be “quality growth.” Such growth is inclusive in that the fruits of growth are shared within society as a whole, leaving no one behind. It is sustainable over generations in terms of consideration to, among other aspects, harmony with the environment, sustained socio-economic growth, and addressing global warming. And it is resilient, able to withstand and recover from economic crises, natural disasters and other shocks. These are some of the challenges Japan has tackled in its postwar history. Japan will take advantage of its own experience, expertise and technology as well as lessons learned in order to provide assistance to realize “quality growth” and poverty eradication through such growth.
From this perspective, Japan will provide assistance necessary to secure the foundations and the driving force for economic growth. Its scope includes: the development of industrial infrastructure and industries through improvements in such areas as infrastructure, finance and trade and investment climate; sustainable cities; introduction of information and communications technology (ICT) and high technology; promotion of science, technology and innovation; research and development; economic policy; vocational training and industrial human resources development; employment creation; and the promotion of agriculture, forestry and fisheries that includes the development of food value chains. At the same time, Japan will provide assistance necessary to promote people-centered development that supports basic human life, taking full account of the importance of human and social development. It encompasses health care, safe water and sanitation, food and nutrition, quality education for all, disparity reduction, empowerment of women, culture and sports that brings about spiritual affluence.
B. Sharing universal values and realizing a peaceful and secure society
Stable development through “quality growth” will not be achieved unless the rights of individuals are guaranteed, people can engage in economic and social activities with a sense of safety, and the society is managed equitably and stably. With a view to solidifying the foundations for such development, Japan will provide assistance so as to share universal values such as freedom, democracy, respect for basic human rights and the rule of law as well as to realize a peaceful, stable and secure society.
The establishment of the rule of law, the realization of good governance, the promotion and consolidation of democratization, and respect for basic human rights including women's rights constitute the basis for effective, efficient and stable economic and social activities, and thereby support social and economic development. They also hold the key to realizing an equitable and inclusive society including reducing disparities. Japan will thus provide the necessary assistance in such areas as: development of legal and judicial systems that involves the development of positive law and the training of legal and judicial experts including experts in the correction and rehabilitation of offenders; development of economic and social systems; improvements in governance which include the training of civil servants and institutional capacity building for anti-corruption and other purposes; development of a democratic political structure including an electoral system; and democratization process with a focus on the media and education for democracy.
Peace, stability and security are prerequisites for nation-building and development. Accordingly, Japan will comprehensively address a wide range of factors causing conflict and instability, including poverty. It will also provide seamless assistance for peacebuilding from conflict prevention, emergency humanitarian assistance in the conflict situation, and promotion of conflict termination to emergency humanitarian assistance and assistance for recovery, reconstruction, and development in the post-conflict stage. Such assistance will address a range of needs such as: humanitarian assistance for refugees and internally-displaced persons; protection and participation of women and the socially vulnerable; reconstruction of social and human capital; the restoration of governance functions based on a trusting relationship between the government and the public; the removal of landmines and unexploded ordnance and the collection of small arms; and the restoration of public order. In natural disasters and other emergencies, Japan will provide prompt assistance taking into account longer-term recovery and reconstruction. In view of the fact that threats to stability and security can hamper socio-economic development, Japan will also provide assistance to enhance capacities in developing countries such as: the capacity of law enforcement authorities including capabilities to ensure maritime safety; the capacity of security authorities including capabilities to combat terrorism and transnational organized crime including drug trafficking and trafficking in persons; and the capacity of developing countries in relation to global commons such as seas, outer space, and cyberspace.
C. Building a sustainable and resilient international community through efforts to address global challenges
Transboundary challenges facing humanity include environmental issues and climate change, water related issues, major natural disasters, infectious diseases, food issues, and energy issues. These challenges significantly affect not only developing countries but also the international community as a whole, causing damage to many people with particularly serious impact likely on the poor and other vulnerable people.
These global challenges cannot be dealt with by a single country and require united efforts at the regional level or by the international community as a whole. Taking full account of the international development goals such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the post-2015 development agenda and the discussions regarding these goals, Japan will take the lead in addressing these challenges including through participation in the formulation of international goals and guidelines and active efforts to achieve these goals. Through these efforts, Japan will seek to contribute to building a sustainable and resilient international community.
In this context, Japan will address challenges such as: actions against climate change including the creation of a low carbon society and adaptation to adverse effects of climate change; infectious diseases control; promotion of universal health coverage; mainstreaming disaster risk reduction; disaster risk reduction and post-disaster recovery measures; conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of resources from forests, farmlands and oceans; promotion of a sound water cycle; environmental management and other environmental-related initiatives; responses to demographic challenges including an aging population; food security and nutrition; sustainable access to resources and energy; closing the digital divide.
(2) Priority policy issues by region
In view of the increasingly diverse, complex, and broader-based development challenges and the progress in globalization in the international community today, it is necessary to implement cooperation that cater to the needs and characteristics of each region while maintaining a global perspective. Bearing in mind the priority policy issues for each region mentioned below, Japan will provide more focused cooperation in a strategic, effective and agile manner while coping flexibly with ever changing situations. In this process, attention will be paid to the increasing relevance of recent developments such as: moves towards regional integration such as establishment of regional communities; efforts to address trans-boundary issues at the regional level; efforts towards greater-area development; efforts to strengthen inter-regional connectivity; and increasing connectivity among regions. In addition, Japan will extend necessary cooperation to countries based on their actual development needs and affordability. These include countries that despite progress in development, are laden with challenges that hamper sustained economic growth, notably the so-called “middle income trap,” as well as with development challenges including global challenges such as exposure to natural disasters, infectious diseases, and environmental issues and climate change; small island countries and others that are faced with special vulnerabilities despite having attained a certain level of per capita income.
Asia is a region that has a close relationship with Japan and high relevance to its security and prosperity. With this recognition, Japan will extend development cooperation to the region.
Particularly with respect to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region, Japan will support the establishment of the ASEAN Community as well as the comprehensive and sustained development of ASEAN as a whole. This will include a focus on the development of both physical and non-physical infrastructure including that which is needed for strengthening connectivity and the reduction of disparities both within the region and within individual countries. Japan will specifically strengthen assistance to the Mekong region as well as continue its assistance to countries that have already achieved a certain level of economic growth to keep them from being caught in the “middle income trap” through assistance to promote increased productivity and technical innovations such as human resources development. At the same time, priority will be attached to assistance that raises disaster risk reduction and disaster relief capabilities and promotes the rule of law, which constitutes the basis for stable economic and social activities. Japan will also promote cooperation with ASEAN as a regional organization to support united efforts to tackle its challenges.
With respect to South Asia, Japan will support regional stability and the fulfillment of a variety of level of regional potential. This will involve cooperation for building the foundations for economic development through growth, including cooperation on improving trade and investment climate especially by developing infrastructure and strengthening connectivity in the Asian region. Japan will also extend cooperation on basic human needs such as health care, sanitation and education, and on socio-economic infrastructure development for narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor.
With respect to Central Asia and the Caucasus, Japan will support nation-building and regional cooperation for the long-term stability and sustainable development of the region and its neighboring regions, while taking into consideration the disparities within the region.
With respect to Africa, Japan will provide assistance through joint efforts of the public and the private sector through the process of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) so that Africa's remarkable growth in recent years based on expanding trade, investment and consumption will lead to further development for both Japan and Africa. Japan will take particular note of Africa's initiatives towards regional development and integration at the sub-regional level. Meanwhile, Africa still has countries that are prone to conflict or are burdened with an accumulation of serious development challenges. Bearing this in mind, Japan will continue to actively engage in assistance for peacebuilding and assistance to fragile states from the perspective of human security, providing necessary assistance with a view towards establishing and consolidating peace and stability, and solving serious development challenges in the region.
The Middle East is an important region not only for Japan but also for the international community as a whole in terms of peace, stability and stable energy supply. With a view to proactively contributing to the peace and stability of the region and to the coexistence and mutual prosperity of Japan and the Middle East, necessary assistance will be provided to address challenges such as peacebuilding, reducing disparity and human resources development.
With respect to Central and Eastern Europe, Japan will support the moves towards the integration of Europe, which shares universal values such as freedom, democracy, respect for basic human rights and the rule of law, by providing assistance necessary to this end.
With respect to Latin America, Japan will provide assistance to foster an environment more conducive to economic development through trade and investment among others, and to extend necessary cooperation against a backdrop of internal disparities which exist even in countries that have achieved considerable progress in development. Consideration will be given to the presence of ethnic Japanese (“Nikkei”) communities in the region, which serves as a strong bond between Japan and the region.
With respect to small island countries in Oceania, the Caribbean and other regions also have vulnerabilities that are peculiar to small island countries. They are also faced with the challenge of coping with the effects of global environmental problems including: water scarcity, damage due to sea level rise and natural disasters associated with climate change. Japan will provide assistance based on individual development needs while bearing in mind the peculiarities of small island countries.
(1) Implementation principles
Efforts will be made to implement development cooperation effectively and efficiently, while taking into account international discussion including on development effectiveness, so as to obtain maximum effect towards realizing the philosophy and implementing the priority policies described above. It is also necessary to give full consideration to the impacts of cooperation to the recipient countries and societies, and to the appropriateness of cooperation. Based on such considerations, Japan will implement development cooperation in accordance with the following principles.
A. Principles for effective and efficient development cooperation
(a) A more strategic approach
A more strategic approach should be taken to maximize the impact of Japan's development cooperation. In other words, it is important for the government and implementing agencies to work as one – in cooperation with diverse stakeholders – and to mobilize various resources available to Japan. It is also important to engage in the development cooperation cycle of policymaking, implementation and evaluation in an integrated manner.
On policymaking, it is necessary to fully recognize that development cooperation is one of the most important tools of Japan's foreign policy, which calls for strategic and agile responses to ever-changing international affairs. With this recognition, Japan will formulate strategic and effective policies and goals concerning development cooperation, prioritizing as appropriate, based on its foreign policy. In the process, Japan will thoroughly assess diverse factors such as: the state of affairs in the international community including developing countries; the development policies and programs of developing countries; and the strategic importance of the recipient country and the development challenges being addressed in relation to Japan. In addition, for the purpose of clarifying its development cooperation policies, thematic policies, regional policies, and country policies will be structured under this Charter.
In implementing development cooperation, Japan will enhance synergies between ODA and non-ODA finance/cooperation so as to make the most of resources of the government and its affiliated agencies. Furthermore, from the standpoint of its foreign policy and more effective and efficient development cooperation, Japan will organically combine technical cooperation, loan assistance and grant aid. It will also strive to increase the speed of implementation, improve related systems and operate them flexibly.
In the light of the importance of evaluation not only for improving effectiveness and efficiency but for accountability to the public, Japan will conduct evaluations at the policy and program/project levels and feed the results back to the decision-making and program/project implementation processes. Such evaluations, while focusing on outcomes, will take into account the peculiarities and conditions of the recipients. Efforts will be made to undertake evaluation from a diplomatic point of view as well.
(b) Cooperation that takes advantage of Japan's strengths
Japan's human resources, expertise, advanced technology and systems today were developed in the process of overcoming various challenges as it underwent high economic growth and rapid demographic changes. These assets can be beneficial for developing countries in addressing similar challenges, both present and future; in fact, expectations for Japan are high in this regard. In implementing development cooperation, Japan will proactively adopt proposals from various actors in the private and other sectors. It will also work with universities and research institutions to make good use of their expertise and seek out their untapped capabilities. Japan's assistance in infrastructure development will not be limited to constructing physical infrastructure. It will also address the non-physical aspects that encompass developing systems for operating and maintaining such infrastructure as well as human resources development and institution building. Such an integrated approach will enable active utilization of Japan's experience and expertise. In addition, given that Japan's distinctive characteristics such as Japanese values and occupational culture are highly regarded by the international community, it will take into account the possibility of utilizing its soft power including the Japanese language.
(c) Proactive contribution to international discussions
Japan will strive to make its development cooperation policies better understood by the international community, and for this purpose, categorize the experiences and expertise gained in its development cooperation. To ensure that Japan's policies are adequately reflected in the process of shaping the philosophy and trends in international development cooperation, Japan will proactively participate in and contribute to relevant discussions at the United Nations, international financial institutions, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), especially its Development Assistance Committee (DAC), and other international frameworks.
B. Principles for securing the appropriateness of development cooperation
So as to secure the appropriateness of its development cooperation policies and individual programs/projects and to give consideration to the various impacts of such cooperation on the recipient countries and societies, Japan's development cooperation will be provided in accordance with the principles described below, and by comprehensively taking into account developing countries' development needs and socio-economic conditions, as well as Japan's bilateral relations with each recipient country.
(a) Situation regarding consolidation of democratization, the rule of law and the protection of basic human rights
Japan will pay adequate attention to the situation in the recipient countries regarding the process of democratization, the rule of law and the protection of basic human rights, with a view to promoting the consolidation of democratization, the rule of law and the respect for basic human rights.
(b) Avoidance of any use of development cooperation for military purposes or for aggravation of international conflicts
Japan will avoid any use of development cooperation for military purposes or for aggravation of international conflicts. In case the armed forces or members of the armed forces in recipient countries are involved in development cooperation for non-military purposes such as public welfare or disaster-relief purposes, such cases will be considered on a case-by-case basis in light of their substantive relevance.
(c) Situation regarding military expenditures, development and production of weapons of mass destruction and missiles, export and import of arms, etc.
Japan will pay close attention to the situation in recipient countries regarding military expenditures, development and production of weapons of mass destruction and missiles, and export and import of arms, etc. This is done with a view to maintaining international peace and stability including the prevention of terrorism and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and based on the position that developing countries should allocate their resources appropriately and preferentially for their own socio-economic development.
(d) Impact of development on the environment and climate change
In order to make development compatible with the environment and to achieve sustainable development, Japan will give thorough consideration to the impact of development on the environment and climate change, and implement development cooperation which takes full account of the environment.
(e) Ensuring equity and consideration to the socially vulnerable
In implementing development cooperation, Japan will pay full attention to the social impact and give full consideration to ensuring equity, while making efforts for participation of wide-ranging stakeholders in every phase of development cooperation, with a view to reducing disparities and in consideration of the socially vulnerable such as children, persons with disabilities, the elderly, ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples.
(f) Promoting women's participation
In the context of gender equality and greater role of women in development, Japan will encourage the participation of women at every phase of development cooperation and be more proactive in ensuring that women share equitably in the fruits of development, while giving consideration to the possible vulnerabilities of women and their special needs.
(g) Preventing fraud and corruption
It is necessary to prevent fraud and corruption in implementing development cooperation. While taking measures to encourage establishment of a compliance system by bid winners, Japan will work with recipient countries to create an environment conducive to preventing fraud and corruption, including the strengthening of governance in these countries. In this context, Japan will ensure adherence to appropriate procedures and strive to ensure transparency in the implementation process.
(h) Security and safety of development cooperation personnel
In order to ensure security and safety of development cooperation personnel, Japan will pay adequate attention to strengthening security and safety management capacity, gathering security information, taking security measures, and ensuring safety of workers in construction sites. Particularly in relation to assistance in politically unstable or unsafe areas such as assistance for peacebuilding, special security measures and arrangements will be implemented.
(2) Implementation arrangements
In view of the increasingly diverse, complex, and wider-based development challenges as well as the increasingly diverse development actors and development-related funds, Japan will strive to improve the implementation architecture of the government and the implementing agencies, strengthen collaboration at different levels, and reinforce the foundations for sustained implementation of development cooperation.
A. Improvement of the implementation architecture of the government and the implementing agencies
In implementing its development cooperation, the government will improve collaboration among the relevant ministries and agencies, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs serving as a hub in charge of coordinating the planning of development cooperation policies. It will also ensure close collaboration between the government, which is responsible for planning policies, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which is responsible for implementation. At the same time, the government and JICA will further strive to develop the capacities of these organizations as well as to improve relevant systems and institutions, while clarifying the division of their roles and responsibilities. Especially to improve the competitiveness of its development cooperation, the government and JICA will address issues such as agility, expertise, knowledge accumulation, research capacity, reinforcement of the functions of offices abroad, human resources development and arrangements for emergency humanitarian relief. Consideration will be given to the role of JICA domestic offices as a node for various actors, including companies, NGOs, local governments, universities and research institutions, and the public at large.
B. Strengthening partnerships
In the international community today, various non-governmental actors play an increasingly important role in the development of developing countries. With this recognition, collaboration between JICA and other agencies responsible for other official funds such as the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI), and the Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport and Urban Development (JOIN) will be strengthened. The government will also enhance mutually beneficial partnerships with various actors so as to serve as a catalyst for mobilizing a wide range of resources, including the private sector.
(a) Public-private partnerships and partnerships with local governments
Official funds including ODA will continue to play an important role in the development of developing countries. However, given that private flows currently far exceed official flows into developing countries, adequate consideration should be given to the fact that activities of the private sector now serve as a powerful engine for economic growth of developing countries. In Asia, hard (physical) and soft (non-physical) basic infrastructure built with development cooperation has contributed to improving the investment climate. Development cooperation's role as a catalyst promoted private investment, which in turn has led to economic growth and poverty reduction in the recipient countries. It is important to recognize that, through these processes, Asia has developed into an important market and investment destination for Japanese private companies, and therefore, an extremely important region for the Japanese economy. In addition, experience and expertise of Japanese local governments play an increasingly significant role in addressing many of the challenges facing developing countries.
In light of the above, the government will promote development cooperation through public-private partnerships and partnerships with local governments utilizing the resources of the private sector and local governments and promoting private-led growth, in order to support economic development of developing countries more vigorously and effectively and to enable such development to lead to robust growth of the Japanese economy. Specifically, partnerships with Japanese companies including small and medium-sized enterprises, local governments, universities and research institutions, and other actors will be strengthened in order to implement cooperation aimed at creating an environment conducive to the promotion of trade and investment among others in such areas as human resources development, development of legislation and institutions, and development of infrastructure and relevant systems from planning to implementation phases in a consistent manner.
In promoting public-private partnerships, Japan's development cooperation will seek to serve as a catalyst for expanding economic activities, while utilizing excellent technology and expertise, and ample funds of the private sector for addressing the challenges faced by developing countries. In addition, taking full account of the priority policies of development cooperation described earlier, Japan will give consideration to ensuring inclusiveness, sustainability and resilience of growth as well as promoting capacity building so that private investment that is made along with development cooperation will contribute to “quality growth” in developing countries.
(b) Coordination in emergency humanitarian assistance and international peace cooperation
In the context of increasingly severe and frequent disasters, there is plenty of scope for contribution by Japan, a country known for its disaster risk reduction. For effective implementation of disaster relief and other emergency humanitarian assistance, coordination with international organizations, NGOs and other actors that have relevant expertise will be strengthened.
In addition, Japan will continue to promote coordination with international peace cooperation activities such as UN peacekeeping operations (PKOs) to maximize their effective implementation.
(c) Partnerships with international, regional and sub-regional organizations
With their expertise, impartiality and wide networks, international organizations can implement effective and efficient cooperation in sectors or regions that are less accessible in bilateral cooperation and by taking advantage of their distinctive characteristics. Such multilateral cooperation can bring about synergies if combined with bilateral cooperation. Japan will therefore continue its proactive collaboration with international organizations in such areas as humanitarian assistance, peacebuilding, governance and global issues. In addition, in view of the role played by international organizations in shaping philosophy and trends in international development cooperation, Japan, as a responsible member of the international community, will strive to increase its influence and presence in international organizations and, by extension, the international community so that it can play a leading role in creating international norms. Furthermore, Japan will hold regular consultations with individual international organizations for policy coordination to create synergies with bilateral cooperation. Special attention will be paid to ensuring accountability to the public as regards the impacts and evaluation of development cooperation through international organizations.
Japan will also reinforce its partnerships with regional and sub-regional organizations in view of the trend towards regional integration and the importance of a transboundary approach at the regional level.
(d) Partnerships with donors, emerging countries and other actors
Like Japan, other donors have accumulated experience and expertise over many years of their development cooperation. Donor partnerships are required for greater development effectiveness. From this perspective, Japan will continue to promote partnerships with other donors in development cooperation to maximize its effectiveness, bearing in mind the perspective of its foreign policy.
In implementing development cooperation, it is also important to take advantage of expertise, human resources and their networks, and other assets that have been accumulated in the recipient countries during the many years of Japan's development cooperation. Japan's triangular cooperation involving emerging and other countries capitalizes on such assets. In view of the high regard held by the international community, Japan will continue to promote triangular cooperation.
(e) Partnerships with the civil society
Partnerships with the civil society in and outside of Japan, including NGOs, civil society organizations (CSOs) and private foundations, are important both for greater cooperation effectiveness and for the equitable and stable development of the recipient countries as they can accurately assess varying views and needs on the ground and take timely flexible actions. With this recognition, the government will strategically strengthen partnerships with NGOs/CSOs, including reinforcing their participation and collaboration in development cooperation. From this standpoint, the government will support excellent development cooperation projects of Japanese NGOs/CSOs and their capacity development. In this regard, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and JICA will focus on developing human resources and systems in the social development sector.
The government will also encourage the participation of its people from all walks of life in development cooperation and promote utilization of their expertise in society, with a view to expanding those involved in development cooperation, including the recruitment of JICA Volunteers. In this regard, the government will provide adequate information to the public and listen to the voice of the people at all levels including suggestions regarding development cooperation.
C. Strengthening the foundations for implementation
In order for Japan's development cooperation to fulfil the required role of realizing its philosophy and implementing its priority policies, the foundations for its sustained implementation including financial and human resources must be strengthened. Necessary efforts will be made to this end while being mindful of the internationally-agreed target of increasing ODA to 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) and fully recognizing its extremely severe fiscal situation.
(a) Information disclosure and promoting understanding of the public and the international community
Development cooperation is financed by tax revenues from the public. The public's understanding and support are therefore essential to secure necessary funds for the sustained implementation of development cooperation. For this purpose, the government will strive for effective public relations on development cooperation in Japan, timely and adequate disclosure of information on implementation, evaluation and other aspects of development cooperation to the wider public in a transparent manner. The government will also provide easy-to-understand explanations on the policies, significance, outcomes and evaluation of Japan's development cooperation by the international community among other aspects. The government will also actively engage in public information abroad as it is important to make Japan's development cooperation and its achievements better known and understood by the international community including developing countries.
(b) Promoting development education
The government will promote development education at school and various other places. The objective is for the public to develop the capacity to assess various aspects of development challenges facing the world, understand how these challenges relate to Japan, regard the challenges as their own for independent analysis, and participate in actions to address these challenges.
(c) Developing human resources and solidifying the intellectual foundations for development cooperation
Fostering human resources for development cooperation remains an important issue in the face of diversifying development challenges. In particular, promoting development cooperation in such areas as the rule of law, governance, finance and ICT calls for strengthening the institutional structure such as by training and securing the necessary human resources. The government, industry and the academia will therefore work as one to promote the training and development of globally competent human resources with specialized expertise among consultants, researchers, students, and employees at universities, private sector and NGOs/CSOs in addition to the personnel of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and JICA. Efforts will also be made to increase opportunities for such persons to fulfill their capacity within and outside Japan and to make institutional and structural improvements.
In order to play a leading role in shaping the philosophy and trends in international development cooperation by making use of its strength, the government will also work with universities and research institutions among others to reinforce the intellectual foundations, including research capabilities to plan and disseminate development cooperation. This may take the form of joint policy research by researchers from Japan and developing countries or intellectual networking of such researchers.
(3) Reporting on the status of the implementation of the Development Cooperation Charter
The government will report the status of the implementation of the Development Cooperation Charter in the “White Paper on Development Cooperation,” which is reported annually to the Cabinet.
February 10, 2015