"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Initiative for Japan's ODA on Water

[Place] Tokyo
[Date] March 23, 2003
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

1. Comprehensive Approach

Japan recognizes that improving governance, building capacity, and providing financing are essential to addressing water problems around the world.

Water is a multi-faceted problem, considering the scarcity of water resources in some regions such as Africa as well as its abundance in some regions such as the Asian Monsoon area. It is, therefore, necessary to pursue a comprehensive approach including not only the provision of drinking water and sanitation, but also the improvement of water productivity, water pollution control, disaster mitigation, and the water resources management, in accordance with local conditions.

Based on this understanding, Japan has been placing priority on assistance in water sector and, in quantitative terms, has provided ODA amounting to more than 650 billion yen (approximately US$5.7 billion) during the last three years (from FY1999 to FY2001).

On drinking water and sanitation, of which the targets are set by the Millennium Development Goals and the World Summit on Sustainable Development, Japan has been by far the top donor among the bilateral donors and international institutions, providing about US$1 billion, a third of the average (about US$3 billion) of the total ODA financial flow from during the last three years.

We will continue these efforts and, in particular, focus on the following 3 salient measures.

(1) Providing drinking water and sanitation to poor countries and regions

(2) Addressing the needs to provide large-scale financing to urban areas

(3) Assisting capacity building

(1) Providing drinking water and sanitation to poor countries and regions Japan will provide assistance for safe drinking water and basic sanitation to poor countries and regions including Africa, which are suffering from shortages. For this purpose, Japan has established the "Water Resource Grant Aid," and 16 billion yen will be earmarked in the FY2003 budget proposal for this scheme.

(2) Addressing the needs to provide large-scale financing to urban areas In FY 2002 Japan started to apply loan aid with the lowest concessional condition ever made (the current interest rate is 0.75% as a general rule) to projects such as the following:

i. Water supply systems favouring the prevention of infectious diseases control and poverty reduction;

ii. Water pollution control such as the establishment of sewage disposal facilities;

iii. Conservation of the natural environment; and

iv. Urban flood countermeasures in which Japan's technology can be utilized.

(3) Assisting the ownership and capacity-building of developing countries Japan will provide assistance for capacity-building to approximately 1000 people over the next five years from FY 2003 in order to improve the developing countries' capacity for planning, management, and control in the field of water supply system and sewage system.

2. Establishment and Strengthening of International Partnerships

In addressing water issues, it is essential to tackle them through global partnerships among donors, international institutions, and NGOs. Japan will strengthen international partnerships particularly through the following actions:

(1) Realizing the Japan-U.S. Clean Water for People Initiative

Launched last September at the WSSD, both countries will realize this initiative for water cooperation through the implementation of projects in Africa (Ghana, Mali, Niger and Senegal) and Asia (the Philippines, Indonesia, Bangladesh, etc.). In addition, a collaboration between Japan's yen-loan aid and the US's investment guarantee system will be considered.

(a) West African region

Ghana, Mali, Niger, and Senegal were identified as possible initial target countries. In these countries, assistance will be undertaken in the field of water supply and sanitation in close cooperation with NGOs. Japan and the U.S. will promote measures towards the eradication of the guinea worm diseases. Japan had already initiated collaboration with the Carter Center Foundation in this area.

(b) Asia

Flood control projects in urban areas as well as irrigation projects mainly in rural areas are being undertaken throughout the Philippines, Indonesia. Water supply and sanitation projects in rural areas in its island provinces will be considered.

In Bangladesh, a geological survey and deep well digging for an alternative water resource will be conducted to address arsenic contamination in groundwater. Japan is providing a wide range of support such as well digging and community educational activities in collaboration with the UNICEF.

(c) Investment guarantee

A collaboration between Japan's yen-loan aid and the US's Development Credit Authority (a system to guarantee financing by central and/or local governments) in Asia and in other regions will be considered.

(2) Japan-France Water Sector Cooperation

This bilateral cooperation was launched on the occasion of the Third World Water Forum. Japan and France will start to undertake and to consider cooperation in Africa (Senegal, Djibouti) and Asia (Laos).

(a) Senegal River Basin

Cooperation for the development of the Senegal River Basin* will be strengthened in close cooperation with the "Organisation pour la Mise en Valeur du fleuve Senegal (OMVS)," focusing on water resource management as well as the improvement of the water productivity for agricultural use. The two countries will coordinate their activities on water supply projects and capacity building, while fully respecting the ownership of local and national authorities and the existing framework for water supply management.

*Located in West Africa, the Senegal River Basin is drained by the 1,800 km-long Senegal River and its main tributaries, and is shared by Guinea, Mali, Mauritania and Senegal.

(b) Djibouti

The two countries will cooperate to address problems concerning the salinity of aquifers* in order to contribute towards increasing water supply in the country.

* An aquifer is a geological formation/structure that stores and/or transmits water to wells or springs. In Djibouti, aquifers are often unsuitable sources of drinking water due to their salt content.

(c) Laos

The two countries will cooperate to address the water shortage problem in Vientiane. In concrete terms, both countries will consider how to conduct concrete projects, based on Japan's study on a master plan to strengthen the capacity for the water supply system.

Both countries will have further discussions on the expansion of cooperation to other developing regions and cooperate with a variety of aid institutions at the country level.

3. Concrete Actions

For its comprehensive approach to materialize, and in the context of the efforts to achieve international targets, Japan will promote economic cooperation in the water sector under the following six pillars:

(1) Safe Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation

To properly address the increasing needs in Africa, Asia, and other regions, Japan will comprehensively promote cooperation concerning the planning of well digging, water supply and sewerage system, as well as maintenance and proper management of infrastructure.

i. Strengthening Water Supply System and Operation / Maintenance through Groundwater Development in Africa

(Tanzania, Senegal, Mali, Mauritania, and Zambia)

ii. Strengthening the Development and Operation / Maintenance on Water Supply System and Sewerage System in Asia

(Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Nepal, and Pakistan)

iii. Stable Water Supply and Water Governance in the Middle and Near East

(Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt)

iv. Water Supply and/or Sewerage Treatment Project in Regional Cities in the Latin American Region

(Mexico, Peru, Brazil, and Guatemala)

v. Water Supply and/or Sewerage Treatment Project in the Pacific Islands Region


vi. Strengthening Control of Water-related Diseases, including Arsenic Poisoning and the Guinea-worm Disease in Asia and Africa.

(Bangladesh and Niger)

(2) Improvement of Water Productivity

Japan will provide assistance for planning, infrastructure, and capacity building to improve the productivity of irrigated water and fishery in the Asian Monsoon area and in other regions, and to effectively use limited water resources. In African arid regions, assistance for the effective use of limited water resources will be pursued through research and development of crop variety.

i. Reinforcement of Government Policy and Implementing Capacity to Improve Water Productivity in Developing Countries

(Nepal, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Vietnam)

ii. Increase of Agricultural Productivity by Improving Irrigation System and Technique.

(the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Tunisia, Tanzania, and Ghana)

iii. Construction of Irrigation Facilities and Enforcement of Local Community Organizations through Participatory Development of Water Resources

(Peru, Indonesia, and the Philippines)

iv. Recycling and Reusing of Water Resources

(Lebanon, Syria, and Tunisia)

v. Development and Dissemination of NERICA (New Rice for Africa)

(3) Addressing the Problem of Water Pollution and Ecosystem Conservation

Japan will support efforts to conserve and improve the environment in regions where aggravation of the living conditions and negative effects to the natural environment are taking place due to the worsening of water quality through pollution.

i. Enhancement of Water Quality Conservation, Industrial Waste Water Control and Domestic Waste Water Management

(the Philippines, Paraguay, Thailand, China, Malaysia, and Mauritius)

ii. Package Cooperation on Institutional Measures and Cleaner Production Technology to Prevent Industrial Pollution

(Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, India, and Jordan)

iii. Water Quality Improvement to Conserve the Environment and Aqua-Ecology

(Kenya, Myanmar, Nepal, Indonesia, the Philippines, China, and Brazil)

(4) Disaster Mitigation

Japan will support planning, infrastructure, and capacity building for the prevention and mitigation of flood and/or landslide disasters in developing countries, using our disaster prevention technology and knowledge against flood and landslide disasters caused by excessive precipitation such as typhoons.

i. Disaster Preparedness due to the Development and Rehabilitation of the Flood Forecasting and Warning System.


ii. Comprehensive Development Plan, Equipment and technology for Flood Control

(Pakistan, China, Indonesia, and the Philippines)

iii. Flood Control Works utilizing Local and Natural Materials

(the Philippines and Laos)

iv. Flood Control and Sanitation Improvement in Urban Areas

(Sri Lanka and Vietnam)

(5) Water Resources Management

Japan will promote the effective development and use of water resources through planning and policy recommendations for water resources management.

i. Planning on Water Resources Development and Management and Capacity Building of Implementing Agencies

(Vietnam, Indonesia, and Lebanon)

ii. Water Resource Management and Conservation through Afforestation, Anti-desertification, and watershed management

(China, Peru, and Tunisia)

iii. Promotion of Effective Use and Capacity Building of Management for Existing Infrastructure and strengthening of Operation & Maintenance Capacity

(Indonesia and the Philippines)

(6) Strengthening of Partnerships with NGOs

Japan will strengthen partnerships with international, local, and Japanese NGOs for safe drinking water supply, sanitation, the improvement of agricultural productivity, and disaster prevention.