The government adopted the Official Development Aid (ODA) Charter in 1992 to outline the philosophy, basic policies and priorities for Japan’s overseas development cooperation. It was revised in 2003 to adapt to new realities. More than 10 years have since passed, with domestic and international circumstances having drastically changed. It was therefore time to again review the charter, and in doing so the government gathered opinions from experts, nongovernmental and other citizens’ organizations, businesses, the media and so on.

The new charter, adopted in February, reflects today’s circumstances and new strategic approaches. I would like to take this opportunity to elaborate on four major principles that were added to the charter.

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