Libmonster ID: U.S.-1415

BECAUSE IT HAS MANAGED TO TURN ECONOMIC AID TO DEVELOPING COUNTRIES INTO A POWERFUL LEVER TO BUILD CONFIDENCE IN ITS POLICIES

International experts consistently point out that in recent decades, the Country of the Rising Sun has developed and is gradually strengthening extremely positive relations with the vast majority of Asian and African states - both with those that belong to the developing world and with the poorest rogue countries of the modern world. These countries are willing to sign cooperation agreements with Japan in economic and other areas, accept Japanese consultants in various areas of administrative management, send their young people to study in Japan, support Japanese foreign policy initiatives, etc.

What attracts the third world countries to this "Asian tiger", by the way, far from being young, and in recent years - and not the most successful among its" brothers", which also developed powerfully and rapidly in the 60s-80s of the last century?

First of all, well-organized development assistance to dozens of Asian and African countries. This assistance is selective and is usually aimed at solving the most fundamental and acute problems of each State. In addition, it is very effective. The government of the country that has taken advantage of it knows that, for example, industrial enterprises built with Japanese help will produce modern products and begin to make a profit in a timely manner, and graduates of schools that will be trained according to Japanese programs will become good specialists - such as any third world country urgently needs.

Japan's credibility in the third world countries was not immediately won. Recall that during the Second World War, its armed forces occupied the territories of a number of Asian countries, causing them enormous damage and causing incalculable disasters to their peoples. In the first post-war years in Asia, few people felt sympathy for the Japanese and believed in their goodwill towards former opponents. According to the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty, Japan pledged to assist a number of countries " ... in compensating for the cost of damage caused by providing them with the services of the Japanese people in processing raw materials, lifting wrecks, and other work..."1.

In all honesty, Japan was not very interested in "settling accounts" with the victorious countries and their allies in this form. First, because then she herself was faced with the task of completing the ogrom-

Figure 1Dynamics of ODA by region in 1997-2006

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Figure 2. Structure of ODA loans to the African region in 2006

There was a huge amount of restoration work, and she didn't really want to divert workers to "lifting sunken ships". And, secondly, because such activities did little to help build political and economic "bridges" with Asian countries, which Japan badly needed.

And then the Japanese government went to a kind of foreign policy trick. In 1954. It offered to pay reparations and implement the provisions of the San Francisco Treaty in the form of so-called "official development assistance" (ODA) to countries affected by Japanese militarism in World War II. And not only to them, but to all those who need such help.

The winning countries did not object to this formulation of the question. Moreover, 7 years later, in 1961, a special development Assistance Committee was formed at the UN, which was tasked with monitoring the provision of assistance to developing countries at the expense of highly developed donor States. However, Japan has not actively cooperated with this Committee, making full use of ODA in its national and foreign policy interests.

It has been implementing this policy for more than half a century, and the scale of "development assistance" is constantly growing, and the mechanisms for its delivery are constantly being improved.

Now, "over the years", it makes no sense to talk in detail about how this process developed throughout its history. Let's focus on the current stage - on what happened in the late XX-early XXI centuries. and, in particular, in the most recent years.

JAPAN TO AFRICA

So, to which regions was Japanese aid sent in 1997-2006 and what is the size of this aid? An idea of this is given in diagram 12.

I don't think anyone has any questions about why most of this aid - $ 6.7 billion - has been provided to Asian countries. It is also clear why the columns describing assistance to European states are so small - most of them do not need such assistance. But aid to African countries is significant, and most importantly, it is growing rapidly: compared to 2003 it has increased almost 4.6 times 3.

The secret to such rapid growth is simple: this year 2008 will see two extremely important events for Japan: the IV International Conference on African Development and the G8 Summit in Hokkaido 4. Naturally, the Japanese establishment wants the country to look extremely attractive at these forums - as one of the most significant sponsors of the African continent.

However, a careful study of Japanese aid to Africa shows that, in principle, it does not yet give much to the peoples of this continent. In 2006, only 20.8% of this assistance ($0.5 billion)was provided. this is gratuitous assistance - grants. And 79.2% ($1.9 billion) are loans granted, however, on a concessional basis, but which will still have to be repaid. For comparison, the share of Japanese aid grants to Latin American countries is 48.2%, while aid to Central Asian and Asian countries is 48.2%.

Figure 3. Structure of grant aid by world region in 2006

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Figure 4. Structure of grant aid by world region in 2007

In the Caucasus, as well as Oceania, it is 100% made up of 5 grants.

African countries spent 68% of their loans on debt repayment. And only 32% of the funds were allocated for the development of economic and social infrastructure, as well as for assistance in the development of various sectors of the national economy. The structure of Japan's ODA loans to countries in the African region is shown in figure 2-6.

By the way, of the $ 1.9 billion spent on debt repayment, the lion's share is $ 1.3 billion. - only 9 African countries received it. Four countries were granted "targeted loans": Kenya ($267.1 million) for the construction of the port; Uganda ($34.8 million) for the development of international relations; Sierra Leone ($38.7 million) for the repayment of urgent external debts; Tanzania ($20 million) for the provision of food to the hungry population..

The patterns of grant aid provided by Japan to various countries by world region in 2006 and 2007 are shown in figures and . The most important information contained in them is that in just one year, the share of funding for the African region increased from 38% to 44% - a very significant increase.

Gratuitous aid to African countries is provided mainly in the form of grants for the implementation of specific projects. The areas where grant projects were implemented in 2006 in African countries are shown in figure . In addition, $ 230 million was allocated to address social problems in the areas of education, health and water supply. In the framework of ODA, grant aid was provided to 16 countries. It included the reconstruction of hospitals, the purchase and provision of medical equipment (including those designed to prevent epidemics and prevent infectious diseases), improving the supply of medicines to the population and vaccinating the population.

9 projects were implemented in the field of education, and 3 of them included the construction of new schools. A number of projects were aimed at improving water supply systems in urban and rural areas. Japan has also financed the construction of several water treatment plants.

From year to year, Japan increases targeted assistance for the development of health systems in African countries. In the first 8 months of 2007, $ 88.9 million was allocated for this purpose, which is $ 30.6 million more than in the whole of 2006. In this area, Japan cooperates with a number of international institutions, including the World Health Organization (WHO).

In 7 African countries, regions were identified that are particularly in need of financial assistance in the social sphere. They received $ 34.8 million for this purpose in 2006.

Does Japan take its own interests into account when granting grants and providing "targeted assistance"? To some extent, yes. Taking into account the prospects for growing trade and economic cooperation, a number of African countries have been allocated targeted grants for the construction of ports, roads and bridges, as well as other transport links.

In total, in 2007, the Japanese side allocated $ 325 million to finance targeted projects, which accounted for 85.9% of the total amount of financial assistance to African countries11.

JAPAN TO THE REST OF THE WORLD

The Asian sub-regions-East and South-West Asia-rank second after Africa in terms of non-repayable aid provided by Japan. Grants to East Asian countries totaled $ 311.9 million in 2006, while loans totaled $ 3.9 billion. The vast majority of grant aid - 81.4% - was directed to the development of the socio-economic infrastructure of the sub-region, mainly for health care, as well as for the construction of ports, roads, bridges, flood prevention systems and improving the provision of clean water to the population. 12 Projects were implemented for the construction of industrial enterprises, electrification of cities and rural areas. rural areas, development of agriculture.

As you know, in the Middle East, in addition to a few rich oil-exporting countries, there are also poor developing countries, including Iraq, which has recently been exhausted by the civil war that is actually being waged on its territory. In 2006, concessional loans were provided to Egypt ($325.6 million), Tunisia ($54.1 million), and Iraq ($798.3 million

page 8

USD)13. Moreover, aid to Iraq almost doubled in 2007 to more than $ 1.5 billion. 14 Grant aid to the Middle East countries in 2006 totaled $ 129.3 million. 15

Grant aid to the Central Asian and Caucasian countries was relatively small in 2006 - only $ 33.1 million. Three-quarters of this amount was spent on the development of economic and a quarter on social infrastructure. Oceania also received $ 48.9 million in grant aid in the same year16. These funds were invested in the construction of a seaport, roads, bridges and power plants, as well as in the development of the fishing industry.

Grants and concessional loans, and for significant amounts, were provided by Japan and such a highly developed country as the PRC. However, in this case, the Japanese proceeded mainly from their own interests. Thus, grants worth $ 10.1 million were intended to prevent the formation of acid rain on the mainland, some of which falls on the island of Japan.17 Japanese loans in the amount of $ 381.2 million. China has pledged to invest in the construction of water treatment facilities. Japan is also helping China solve its own environmental problems, which have sharply worsened since the 1990s due to the accelerated growth of industrial production. 18

TOGETHER WITH THE UN

Over the past 3 to 5 years, Japan has been actively cooperating with the UN in addressing the so-called "Millennium Development Goals". The most important ones were identified at an International conference held in Kobe in early 2005, which focused on the urgent needs of developing countries. At the same time, the task of preventing epidemics was highlighted 19. Japan is trying to contribute as much as possible to this problem through its annual ODA programme20.

In the spring of 2007, the Japanese government announced "special conditions" for granting loans to countries affected by epidemics. Since October 2007, such loans have been granted at a "symbolic" repayment rate of 0.01% per annum, and the least developed countries are generally exempt from paying interest on loans.21

Unfortunately, the majority of African countries are still characterized by widespread illiteracy. Japan is fully contributing to the solution of this problem as well. And not only on the basis of direct assistance to individual States, but also in the framework of cooperation with UNESCO. Back in 2002, the Government adopted a kind of five-year plan for participation in the improvement of educational structures in African countries with the allocation of appropriate financial resources. By the end of 2004, more than half of them had been spent in the form of gratuitous aid. Some of the funds were allocated to Africa with the participation of trust funds established under the auspices of UNESCO.22

Japan supports the implementation of UN plans to provide clean water and improve sanitation in developing countries. At the Fourth Water Forum held in Mexico in the spring of 2004, the Japanese delegation put forward a number of interesting initiatives aimed at expanding international cooperation in this area. 23 The country also participates in UN peacekeeping activities and helps States involved in various conflicts. Thus, in 2007, $ 32.1 million in grant aid was provided to the Palestinian Authority and $ 8.6 million to Afghanistan. 24

Japan is also committed to promoting the strengthening of democratic institutions in developing countries and protecting human rights. Together with India, it shares the second place in terms of funding for the UN Democracy Fund 25.-

Figure 5. Structure of the African region in 2006

The San Francisco Peace Treaty is a peace treaty with Japan signed in San Francisco on September 8, 1951, officially ending the state of war between Japan and the allied Powers (the USSR did not sign the treaty).

The United Nations Development Assistance Committee is an organization designed to coordinate the activities of its member donor countries in providing assistance to developing countries.

International Conference on African Development-initiated by Japan. The Conference has been held annually in Tokyo since 1993 and focuses on the pressing problems of the least developed countries in the African region.

page 9

The total amount of ODA allocated to the fund in 2005 was US $ 10 million. 26 Japan transfers funds intended for the protection of democracy to a number of States, both directly, through bilateral cooperation, and through the above-mentioned fund. And here there is a direct interest of Japan, which rightly fears that manifestations of political instability and local conflicts may, under certain conditions, affect the interests of the Country of the rising Sun in one way or another.

In 2007, due to a number of internal and external reasons (primarily due to the economic difficulties that have arisen in Japan), the amount of funding for "official development assistance" decreased slightly compared to 2006. But in Japan's foreign policy, the role of ODA is still large,and it continues to grow. Indeed, Japan sets an example for many countries - how to increase the ranks of friends and allies in many regions of the world at relatively low costs for a kind of charity work.


1 Peace Treaty with Japan, signed in San Francisco on September 8, 1951 - http://www.japantodav.ru/offic/1951/shtml

2 http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/oda/white/2006/ODA2006/html/zuhyo/index.htm

3 Ibid.

4 Policy Speech by Mr. Masahiko Koumura, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan - "Global Health and Japan's Foreign Policy - From Okinawa to Tokyo" (Tokyo International Forum, 25 November, 2007) - http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/health_c/address0711.html

5 http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/oda/white/2006/ODA2006/html/ zuhyo/index.htm

6 http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/oda/note/loan-7r.html

7 Ibidem.

8 http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/oda/note/grant-6r.html

9 http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/oda/note/grant-7r.html

10 http://www.rnofa.go.jp/policy/oda/note/grant-6r.html

11 http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/oda/note/grant-7r.html

12 Ibidem.

13 Japan's Official Development Assistance White Paper 2006 -http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/oda/white/2006/ODA2006/html

14 http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/oda/note/loan-7r.html

15 http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/oda/note/grant-6r.html

16 Ibidem.

17 Ibidem.

Safarav D. T. 18 Japan's assistance to China in solving environmental and health problems // Russia and the Asia-Pacific Region, 2004, No. 4, p. 53.

19 Report of the World Conference on Disaster Reduction Kobe, Hyogo. Japan, January 18-22, 2005. UN General Assembly, 16.03.2005, p. 4.

20 http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/oda/note/yenloan.html

21 Ibidem.

22 Japan's Official Development Assistance White Paper 2006...

23 Ibidem.

24 http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/oda/note/loan-7r.html

25 http://www.un.org/democracyfund/XFinancialContridutions.htm

26 Ibidem.


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