Asia Program

Japanese ODA at 50: An Assessment

Saori N. Katada, Juichi Inada, David Leheny, and Yoshio Okubo

Official development assistance (ODA) has been the cornerstone of Japanese foreign policy since Japan began allocating aid to Southeast Asian nations in 1954.In this Special Report, four experts assess the successes and failures of Japanese ODA as it enters its sixth decade.According to Saori Katada, Japan has matured as a donor, but its foreign policy aspirations will be hindered by declining public support for ODA. Juichi Inada argues that Japanese ODA is increasingly politicized in that Tokyo is gradually shedding its post–World War II reluctance to intervene in recipient countries’ internal affairs. David Leheny examines Japan’s counterterrorism ODA efforts and the difficulty of assessing their effectiveness. Yoshio Okubo discusses Japan’s 52-year relationship with the World Bank as recipient and donor, expressing hope that Japan will deepen its commitment to multilateral financial institutions.

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Experts & Staff