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Japan Donor Profile

Last updated: March 2017.

KEY QUESTIONS

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How will Japan’s ODA develop?

  • In the short term, Japan’s ODA is expected to stay stable. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs budget for FY2017 shows only a slight increase of 0.3% in its ODA spending compared to FY2016.
  • In line with the government’s plan to increasingly use ODA as a strategic diplomatic and economic instrument, Japan’s bilateral ODA is likely to increase in comparison to the country’s multilateral contributions.

What will Japan’s ODA focus on?

  • Japan’s strong focus on Asia is expected to continue, due to the country’s strong economic, diplomatic, and historic ties to the region.
  • Japan is strengthening its relationship with Africa, demonstrated by its US$30 billion pledge in public and private funding for 2016 to 2018 at the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development in 2016.
  • In the framework of its G7 presidency, Japan committed US$6 billion in funding for 2016 to 2018 to foster stability in the Middle East, including support in human resource development and humanitarian relief programs.

What are key opportunities for shaping Japan’s development policy?

  • The Japanese government will participate in the High Level Political Forum in July 2017 in New York to inform about Japan’s progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As cabinet members are likely to attend, this event provides an opportunity to take a closer look at Japan’s development policy and to advocate for increases in ODA spending in the coming years.
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has set up an advisory committee to develop proposals for an International Solidarity Levy to generate extra-budgetary resources to maintain ODA levels in a difficult budget environment. The committee is expected to present proposals in early spring 2017. While the next steps for this initiative are yet unclear, this process provides an opportunity for advocates to use the debate around this initiative to advocate for the need to keep ODA at a high level.
  • In May 2017, Japan will host the 50th annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank in Yokohama, which will focus on environment, infrastructure, poverty reduction, and financial development.

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