Japan to expand aid to developing and emerging economies

Japan to expand aid to developing and emerging economies

Japan will expand its official development aid to developing and emerging economies in the Global South as part of its plan to promote the vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will visit India from Sunday to Wednesday.

He intends to express his resolve to maintain and strengthen international order based on the rule of law, global public goods such as international public health, and safety at sea and in the air, according to several government sources.

He will meet with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi on Monday, and later he will deliver a speech on the new plan at a policy research institute.

In his speech he will emphasise the importance of a free and open Indo-Pacific, which will lead to cooperation among countries rather than division and confrontation, as the international community faces a historic turning point in the wake of Russia's aggression against Ukraine.

He will emphasize that Japan's partnership with India is essential to the free and open Indo-Pacific vision, showing the deepening of bilateral relations within and outside Japan.

The expansion of ODA in both quality and scale is a key policy tool for a free and open Indo-Pacific. The budget bill for fiscal 2023 has allocated 570.9 billion for ODA.

Japan will tailor its aid to the circumstances of countries in the Global South, which vary in their development stages, in partnership between the public and private sectors.

Japan believes that the plan will promote the development of high-quality infrastructure, helping to achieve stability and economic growth in the target countries, leading to peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.

Chinese aid to newly emerging economies takes the form of loans that leave recipient countries so tangled in debt that they are forced to give China extensive rights to ports and other facilities in those countries in recent years, as a result of the debt trap problem.

Japan hopes to counter such diplomacy by strategic use of its ODA, which will prevent emerging economies from becoming heavily dependent on certain countries.

Kishida will explain Japan's policy of ensuring connectivity, with which countries can be freely linked to one another, and building desirable supply chains. Japan will strengthen the maritime law enforcement organizations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ASEAN, which has a stance on involvement in dealing with the challenges of climate change, international public health, including infectious disease countermeasures, and food security, all of which are important concerns for newly emerging economies.