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Japan’s ODA Policy towards Five Mainland Southeast Asian Countries
- Development assistance is traditionally given by developed countries to developing countries to assist in the recipient country’s economic development, and improve social conditions with the country. Different countries adopt different approaches, depending on the resources available as well as their policy objectives in giving aid. In 1991, when the Japanese government announced the four guidelines of Official Development Assistance (ODA), it pledged to use the foreign aid to promote human rights and democracy. In the history of Japan’s ODA, the bilateral scheme has been predominant: Japan provides a certain country with aid through bilateral negotiation and agreement and with the anticipation that the aid will help socio-economic development in the recipient country. Japan’s ODA is usually divided into two categories: bilateral and multilateral. Bilateral aid on the other hand is the scheme where Japan provides aid to a single recipient country on the basis of the two parties’ negotiation and agreement. Multilateral aid is the scheme within which Japan provides a budget to international or multi-governmental organizations. And the most frequently used classification of bilateral assistance is based on the three types of payment: grants, yen loans, and technical assistance. Tokyo’s foreign aid strategy, ranging from bilateral, sub-regional, to regional assistance plans, successfully secures its political and economic interests in mainland Southeast Asia.
Thant Yin Win