Japan will use its official development assistance in ways that enhance its own security and prosperity, according to a government draft of the revised ODA charter released Wednesday.

“As a nation that is greatly dependent on foreign countries for its resources, energy and food, Japan will actively contribute to the stability and development of developing nations through ODA,” the revised charter says. “Such activities are deeply linked to increasing the benefit of the people.”

The revised ODA charter is expected to be endorsed by the Cabinet at the end of August after the government holds hearings in Tokyo and Osaka to solicit opinions from the public, Foreign Ministry officials said.

In the draft, the government further notes that Japan, as a major global power, is determined to use its ODA to prevent regional disputes and terrorism. Such measures are in line with national interests, including reinforcing relationships with friendly nations, it says.

Japan will focus its ODA spending on Asian nations, which are more capable of affecting the nation’s safety and prosperity, according to the draft.

The government will consider whether such assistance may be used for military purposes or to facilitate international disputes before making the disbursals, it says, apparently referring to criticism over the growing military budgets of such countries as China, India and Pakistan, all of which receive Japanese ODA.

The draft says ODA should be used for peace-building activities, such as the promotion of peace talks, support of refugees, the removal of land mines and restoration of infrastructure.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.