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Japan’s Foreign Aid Policy: Its Performance, Implications for China and Relevant Policy Options(No.176, 2016)


By Cheng Guoqiang, Zhou Taidong, Guo Wei & Liu Qingbin, Research Team on “Promoting Shared Development: China and the World”, DRC

Research Report No.176, 2016 (Total 5059) 2016-12-15

Abstract: It has been over six decades since Japan adopted the foreign aid policy. Japan’s foreign aid, not alike other developed countries, is mainly provided in the form of yen loans to relatively concentrated regions and areas. Its aid is focused on infrastructure construction programs and human capital development, and the money is spent in light of Japanese development experience. Apart from official investment, the government also encourages the private sectors and civil organizations to participate in foreign-aid programs. These foreign aid policy programs have effectively supported and served Japan’s efforts in overseas investment, economic security and political and diplomatic strategies, and also make reference to China in developing its foreign aid programs. But it should be pointed out that the Abe administration has taken foreign aid as a strategy to keep expanding Japan’s strategic space while squeezing China’s influence in the international community. It is suggested that China needs to fully enhance the importance of foreign aid in China’s entire strategic interests, enlarge the scope of entities to provide foreign-related assistance, strengthen the role of knowledge cooperation in foreign aid, ensure the quality and sustainability of aid programs, pay more attention to supervision and evaluation of these programs, improve the cultivation of technical personnel and enhance the capacity building of researches in foreign aid programs.

Key words: Japan’s foreign aid, international development, cooperation, strategy