Issue Deep Dive
Japan / Education
Last updated: April 14, 2023
ODA In Context
Japan was the fifth largest DAC donor to education in 2021.
In relative terms, Japan ranked 27th out of all OECD DAC member countries in 2021, allocating just 3% of its total ODA to education. This is below the DAC average of 9%.
Japan’s education funding had been increasing but saw a 22% decrease in 2020 and a further 3% decrease in 2021.
Some countries, including Japan, report the costs of scholarships and other costs of hosting students from LICs as bilateral ODA. Although reportable as ODA, they do not constitute transnational financial flows. These costs accounted for 25% of Japan’s total education ODA. Excluding these costs, Japan ranked fourth among OECD donor countries in absolute terms.
Japan channels a large share of its education ODA bilaterally. Overall, bilateral funding accounted for 82% of Japan’s ODA for education, above the DAC average of 72%.
48% or US$274 million of Japan’s bilateral education ODA in 2021 was allocated to programs in post-secondary education. Funding also went to education policy and administrative management (16%, or US$94 million) and to education facilities and training (14%, or US$81 million).
Multilateral Spending and Commitments
Core funding to multilaterals accounted for 18% of Japan’s education ODA in 2021.
The table below summarizes Japan’s more recent commitments to multilaterals working on education. Some of these commitments are considered core funding to multilaterals, while others are earmarked funding through multilaterals.
Funding and Policy Outlook
Japan considers education a prerequisite for growth and poverty reduction: Japan includes education in its Development Cooperation Charter, noting it as a prerequisite for quality growth and poverty eradication. JICA set up four clusters in its Global Agenda for Education in 2021 as a framework to develop cooperation projects. These include:
- Improving learning through the development of textbooks and learning materials;
- Eeducational improvement through community-wide collaboration;
- Improving education for leaving no one behind; and
- Strengthening leading universities.
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