This profile has been updated in March 2018.
Strategic priorities
  • The government has identified promoting economic growth and using ODA to engage Japanese companies in emerging markets as priorities in its development policy framework document, the Development Cooperation Charter.
  • Infrastructure is a key sector of Japan’s bilateral development assistance, particularly in the form of loans for middle-income countries in Asia. Japan will likely maintain this focus in coming years.
Key opportunities
  • The Japanese government will participate in the United Nations (UN) High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in July 2018 in New York. As cabinet members are expected 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 sought to introduce an International Solidarity Levy in Budget FY2018 to generate extra-budgetary resources to maintain ODA levels in Japan’s difficult budget environment. This process provides an opportunity to use the debate around this initiative to advocate for the need to keep ODA at a high level.
  • The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) High Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) will be held in 2019. Japan may be involved in setting up a committee for this event, as it did for the December 2017 UHC Forum held in Tokyo.
  • The seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VII) will be held in Yokohama in 2019.  The conference offers an opportunity to foster dialogue with African nations and promote aid and investment.

Key Questions

the big six

In the island nation of Vanuatu, Japan is financing a new wharf in Port Fila that will support economic growth through tourism and international freight.

Japan

Outlook

How will Japan’s ODA develop? - What will Japan’s ODA focus on? - What are key opportunities for shaping Japan’s development policy? read more

How will Japan’s ODA develop?

  • Japan’s ODA is expected to slightly increase in the short term: Japan’s net ODA in FY2018 is 5% higher compared to the FY2017 budget. This includes an increase in the ODA budget of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of 0.7%.   
  • 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’s engagement with Asia and Africa will continue to be guided by the ‘free and open Indo-Pacific Strategy’.
  • Japan is strengthening its relationship with Africa. This is 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 (TICAD VI).
  • Security and stability will remain a priority. 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 on Sustainable Development and the SDGs in July 2018 in New York. As cabinet members are expected 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 United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) High Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) will be held in 2019. Japan may be involved in setting up a committee for this event, as it did for the December 2017 UHC Forum held in Tokyo.
  • TICAD VII will be held in Yokohama in 2019.  The conference offers an opportunity to foster dialogue with African nations and promote aid and investment.
  • Japan will host the Nutrition Summit in 2020, as announced by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the UHC Forum in December 2017. There will be many opportunities in the lead up to this event, including the event itself, to engage with global stakeholders on nutrition and health.