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Mohd Ikbal Mohd Huda ,Muhammad Syukur Hj Ismail


The introduction of the ODA Charter in 1992 can be seen as Japan’s official pledge to pay more attention to political conditions in recipient countries and to impose political conditionalities on them. However, in practice, the Japanese government has continued using foreign aid as a diplomatic tool to pursue own economic interests. In this paper, in order to determine the quality of Japanese foreign aid, Japan’s ODA will be compared with the foreign aid of other countries. In term of quantity, the amount of Japan’s ODA is impressive. In 1989, Japan topped the US as the biggest donor of foreign aid among all aid donor countries. Despite the impressive quantity of Japanese foreign aid, the ratio of Japan’s ODA to GNI in 2016 was 0.20 percent, which was lower than the average ODA ratio to Gross National Income (GNI) among Development Assistance Committee (DAC) members (0.32 percent). Norway was the country with the highest ratio (1.11 percent) followed by Luxembourg (1.00 percent). In term of geographical distribution, a prominent characteristic of Japan’s ODA is that Asia, especially East Asian countries, received the biggest share of Japanese aid. In 2015, 28 percent of Japan’s ODA was allocated to south and central Asia and 31 percent to Far East Asia. Meanwhile, Sub-Saharan African region received 11 percent of Japan’s bilateral ODA, Middle East and North Africa eight percent, Latin America and Caribbean region four percent and Europe received only two percent. Furthermore, Grant Share (GS) of Japan’s ODA in 1997 was 39.6 percent, while the DAC’s average rate of GS that year was 77.8 percent. Among DAC members, the Scandinavian countries, Australia and New Zealand had a very high GS, almost 100 percent. Germany’s and France’s GS were nearly 80 percent. These figures show that Japan’s GS has been one of the lowest among DAC members. Also, Japan’s untied aid ratio became one of the highest of the DAC.

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