"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] Speech by Mr. Nobutaka Machimura, Minister for Foreign Affairs of JAPAN, Table Speech at the Informal Dinner Discussion on "The Millennium Declaration and Monterrey Consensus" (The OECD Ministerial Council Meeting)

[Place] Paris
[Date] May 3, 2005
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

Your Excellency, Prime Minister Persson,

Mr. Johnston, Secretary General of the OECD,

Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a pleasure to be a lead speaker at this working dinner and I would like to express my sincere welcome to all the delegates from non-member countries. Your presence provides us with a precious opportunity to deepen our common understanding on how to realize sustainable development. In fact we must start facing up to the reality that in the past, no country has ever achieved simultaneously the twin goals of economic growth and environmental preservation. It has been my most sincere hope that developing countries avoid making the same mistake, and my country will always be ready to extend a hand of solidarity as necessary to realize my hope.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As you may be aware, over the last ten years, Japan has been extending one-fifth of the total ODA extended by DAC member countries. Japanese ODA, combined with recipient countries' strenuous efforts, has brought concrete results, as shown most typically in today's Asian prosperity. It is to be noted that per capita GDP of many South-East Asian countries was lower than that of Sub-Saharan African countries until early seventies, or even early eighties.

I was told that in Africa there is a proverb saying: 'Do not ask for fish, but ask to learn how to catch fish.' This is indeed the basic philosophy of today's Japanese ODA. Indeed, human resources development and institution-building constitute the core of Japan's ODA. In other words, we are extending people-centered development assistance, which is closely associated with the concept of human security. Every human being has the right to be born with dignity, live with dignity and die with dignity. Most unfortunately, this apparently most basic element for human life is still a dream for the majority of six billion human beings on earth.

People need to be empowered if they are to participate economically and socially in the activities to achieve sustainable development. Needless to say that external assistance alone cannot do the job. Developing countries themselves need to realize growth through a wide range of economic activities. In this context, I should like to point that the vigorous flow of trade and investment does play an important role. I should also like to remind ourselves that the OECD has valuable expertise and knowledge which should be usefully shared with developing countries.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Prime Minister Koizumi of Japan has repeatedly said that, "There will be no stability and prosperity in the world unless the problems of Africa are resolved." Japan has advanced cooperation towards Africa, based on the spirit of solidarity, through TICAD process. At the Asian-African Summit, held two weeks ago in Indonesia, the Prime Minister announced that Japan would double its ODA to Africa in the next three years. In so doing, Japan intends to further strengthen its support so that African countries can share various useful experiences of Asian development. One of the effective means would be to further expand and strengthen a network (http://www.TICADExchange.org) to facilitate the exchange of trade and investment between Asia and Africa using information and communication technology (ICT). Thus, the entrepreneurship, that so abundantly exists in Africa, will hopefully become a powerful engine for Africa's development.

In this context, I would like to propose that the OECD, making full use of its knowledge, and working together with NEPAD, reinforce its support of Africa's efforts to create a better investment climate, duly bearing in mind the diversity in the continent and the needs of each country. It would be a great pleasure for me if you could take a look at the room document, where you will find more details of our proposal.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Japan has been implementing its development assistance in the spirit of solidarity without taking a paternalistic approach. Indeed we believe in solidarity, because we believe that donors and recipients are equal partners.

With this belief in mind, Japan has been, is and will be standing by those in need.

Thank you very much indeed for your kind attention.

I look forward to a frank exchange of views with all of you.