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A recent United Nations report wrapping up progress under its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has painted a mixed picture of the global efforts to fight poverty in developing countries. While U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hailed the efforts made in an attempt to accomplish the goals set by world leaders in 2000 as “the most successful anti-poverty movement in history,” the report released in early July admits that the results have been uneven across nations and regions, and within countries that as a whole achieved the goals, with many of the problems remaining concentrated in the weakest actors.

As the international community weighs the followup goals, Japan, as the world’s third-largest economy that was once the world’s top donor of economic aid, should reassess not only its policy on overseas aid but also its own economic behavior in light of the global efforts toward sustainable development.

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