Japan prioritises self-reliant development and the mutual benefits of co-operation with partner countries. Japan focuses on quality growth, poverty eradication, peace and stability, and global challenges, leveraging its expertise while respecting partner countries’ ownership. During its G7 presidency in 2023, Japan aimed to enhance multilateral co-operation to drive economic recovery, climate change mitigation, and public health. Japan’s total official development assistance (ODA) (USD 19.6 billion, preliminary data) increased in 2023, representing 0.44% of gross national income (GNI).

Find the methodological notes behind the profile here.

The Development Cooperation Charter, revised in 2023, states that Japan provides development co-operation based on human security in the new era while co-creating social values with various actors, including developing countries. Japan also aims at disseminating and implementing international rules based on inclusiveness, transparency, and fairness. Based on these basic policies, Japan aims to achieve quality growth and realise a free and open international order, aligning with its vision of the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific”, while addressing global issues. Additionally, Japan aims for evolved implementation through collaborative efforts with stakeholders, specifically emphasising enhancing the ODA system.

Japan recognises multilateral partners’ expertise, impartiality, wide networks, capacity for effective and efficient co-operation in sectors or regions less accessible in bilateral co-operation, and the opportunity for synergies between multilateral and bilateral co-operation. In striving for the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific”, Japan promotes principles such as the rule of law, peace and stability, free trade, and economic prosperity with connectivity. Japan is a strong proponent of quality infrastructure investment.

Japan aims to achieve quality growth and, through this growth, to eradicate poverty sustainably and realise a prosperous society in which all people can live with dignity. As such, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has put building blocks in place to target the reduction of poverty and inequalities through development co-operation. These include JICA’s commitment to human security within the conceptual framework established by its 2011 Thematic Guidelines on Poverty Reduction, which also include a detailed analysis of the causes of poverty and potential steps for JICA to take in response. In addition, JICA’s priorities are group-based inequalities, which implies a structured approach to embedding gender equality in the programme cycle and, to a lesser extent, inequalities facing children, persons with disabilities, the elderly, ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples, and other socially vulnerable groups, as well as economic disparities.

The 2020 OECD-DAC peer review praised Japan’s whole-of-society approach to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and recognised Japan as a global champion of disaster risk reduction. It recommended that increasing ODA could strengthen Japan’s leadership and commitment to the SDGs and that a mechanism would help ensure coherence between domestic policies and global sustainable development objectives. Whole-of-government country policies would ensure synergies across Japan’s portfolio, and it could be more explicit about how programmes reduce poverty. More streamlined systems and procedures would make Japan a more agile donor. The 2020 peer review found that Japan had fully or partially implemented 19 of the 20 recommendations of the 2014 peer review. Learn more about Japan’s 2020 DAC peer review. Japan’s next peer review is planned for 2026.

Japan provided USD 19.6 billion (preliminary data) of ODA in 2023 (USD 20.2 billion in constant terms), representing 0.44% of GNI.1 This was an increase of 15.7% in real terms in volume and an increase in the share of GNI from 2022. Japan’s ODA has risen steadily over the last six years. Japan is mindful of the need to achieve the 0.7% ODA/GNI target but has not set a domestic target. Within Japan’s ODA portfolio in 2022, 37% was provided in the form of grants and 63% in the form of non-grants.2

In 2023, Japan ranked 4th among Development Assistance Commitee (DAC) members in terms of ODA volume and 12th among DAC member countries when ODA is taken as a share of GNI. The majority of Japan’s ODA is delivered bilaterally through the public sector. Among DAC members in 2022, it has one of the highest bilateral shares of country programmable aid (82.5% of gross bilateral ODA) and aid for trade (62% of bilateral allocable ODA). All of Japan’s ODA to countries covered by the DAC Recommendation on Untying ODA was reported as untied in 2021.

Japan is committed to several international targets and Development Assistance Committee standards and recommendations. Learn more about DAC recommendations.

Japan provided a higher share of its ODA bilaterally in 2022. Gross bilateral ODA was 88.2% of total ODA disbursements. Twelve per cent of gross bilateral ODA was channelled through multilateral organisations (earmarked contributions). Japan allocated 11.8% of total ODA as core contributions to multilateral organisations.

In 2023, Japan provided USD 818.1 million (preliminary data) of net bilateral ODA to Ukraine to respond to the impacts of Russia’s war of aggression, an 18.9% increase from 2022 in real terms. USD 633.4 million of the amount was allocated to humanitarian assistance, a 459.9% increase from 2022.

In 2022, Japan provided USD 5 billion of gross ODA to the multilateral system, a fall of 2.9% in real terms from 2021. Of this, USD 2.6 billion was core multilateral ODA, while USD 2.4 billion was non-core contributions earmarked for a specific country, region, theme or purpose. Project-type funding earmarked for a specific theme and/or country accounted for 30.7% of Japan’s non-core contributions, and 69.3% was programmatic funding (to pooled funds and specific-purpose programmes and funds).

Fifty-nine per cent of Japan’s total contributions to multilateral organisations in 2022 were allocated to the World Bank and the UN system.

The United Nations (UN) system received 30.7% of Japan’s multilateral contributions, of which USD 1 billion (65.7%) represented earmarked contributions. Out of a total volume of USD 1.5 billion to the UN system, the top three UN recipients of Japan’s support (core and earmarked contributions) were UNDP (USD 266.5 million), the WFP (USD 240.7 million) and UNICEF (USD 161.2 million).

See the section Geographic, sectoral and thematic focus of ODA for the breakdown of bilateral allocations, including ODA earmarked through the multilateral development system. Learn more about multilateral development finance.

In 2022, Japan’s bilateral spending increased compared to the previous year. It provided USD 19.6 billion of gross bilateral ODA (which includes earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations). This represented an increase of 31.7% in real terms from 2021.

In 2022, country programmable aid was 82.5% of Japan’s gross bilateral ODA, compared to the DAC country average of 42%. In 2022, Japan increased ODA for in-donor refugee costs considerably but reported less than 5% of gross bilateral ODA as refugee costs.

Japan has a strategy guiding its engagement in triangular co-operation. Its approach is focused on scaling up bilateral co-operation and advancing third-country training programmes. Japan is a member of the Global Partnership Initiative (GPI) on Effective Triangular Co-operation. Learn more about triangular co-operation.

In 2022, Japan channelled its bilateral ODA mainly through the public sector. Technical co-operation made up 7.8% of gross ODA in 2022.

In 2022, civil society organisations (CSOs) received USD 242.4 million of gross bilateral ODA, of which 9.1% was directed to developing country-based CSOs. Overall, 0.8% of gross bilateral ODA was allocated to CSOs as core contributions and 0.4% was channelled through CSOs to implement projects initiated by the donor (earmarked funding). From 2021 to 2022, the combined core and earmarked contributions for CSOs decreased as a share of bilateral ODA, from 1.3% to 1.2%. Learn more about the DAC Recommendation on Enabling Civil Society in Development Co-operation and Humanitarian Aid.

In 2022, Japan’s bilateral ODA was primarily focused on Asia. USD 11.2 billion was allocated to Asia and USD 2.3 billion to Africa, accounting for 56.8% and 11.9% of gross bilateral ODA, respectively. USD 1.3 billion was allocated to ODA-eligible countries in Europe (of which 57.9% was allocated to Ukraine). Asia was also the main regional recipient of Japan’s earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations, which was in line with the policy priorities of its overall strategy.

In 2022, 60.1% of gross bilateral ODA went to Japan’s top 10 recipients. Its top 10 recipients are mainly in Asia and Africa, which is in line with its policy priorities. The share of gross bilateral ODA not allocated by country was 16.1%, of which 1.7% consisted of expenditures for processing and hosting refugees in provider countries.

In 2022, Japan allocated 0.12% of its GNI to the least developed countries (LDCs). Japan allocated the highest share of gross bilateral ODA (45.5%) to lower middle-income countries in 2022, noting that 16.1% was unallocated by income group. Least developed countries (LDCs) received 23.1% of Japan’s gross bilateral ODA (USD 4.5 billion). Additionally, Japan allocated 5.3% of gross bilateral ODA to land-locked developing countries in 2022, equal to USD 1 billion. Japan allocated 2.8% of gross bilateral ODA to small island developing states (SIDS) in 2022, equal to USD 540.7 million.

Support to fragile contexts was USD 5.8 billion in 2022, representing 29.5% of Japan’s gross bilateral ODA. Five per cent of this ODA was provided in the form of humanitarian assistance, decreasing from 7.7% in 2021, while 1.5% was allocated to peace, decreasing from 3% in 2021. One per cent went to conflict prevention, a subset of contributions to peace, representing a decrease from 1.8% in 2021. Learn more about support to fragile contexts on the States of Fragility platform.

In 2022, the largest focus of Japans bilateral ODA was economic infrastructure and services. Investments in this area accounted for 44.4% of bilateral ODA commitments (USD 8.3 billion) with a strong focus on support to transport and storage (USD 7.2 billion), energy (USD 942.9 million) and banking and financial services (USD 109.4 million). Social infrastructure and services amounted to USD 3.9 billion (20.8% of bilateral ODA), focusing on health and population policies (USD 2.1 billion), which accounted for 11.5% of gross bilateral ODA, and an increase of 525.6% from 2019 in real terms.

. ODA for other macro sectors totalled USD 4 billion. Earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations focused on social sectors (54.5%) in 2022.

In 2022, Japan disbursed USD 3.4 billion in ODA for the COVID-19 response, up from USD 3.3 billion in 2021. Regarding COVID-19 vaccines, Japan provided USD 60.5 million in ODA for donations of doses to developing countries in 2022, down 64.9% from USD 172.4 million in 2021. All COVID-19 vaccines accounted for donations of doses from domestic supply in 2022.

In the period 2021-22, Japan committed 57.8% of its screened bilateral allocable aid to gender equality and women’s empowerment, as either a principal or significant objective (up from 45.6% in 2019-20), compared with the 2021-22 DAC average of 43.3%. This is equal to USD 8.8 billion of bilateral ODA in support of gender equality. Unpacking the gender equality data further:

  • The share of screened bilateral allocable aid committed to gender equality and women’s empowerment as a principal objective was 0.7% in 2021-22, compared with the DAC average of 3.9%.

  • Japan includes gender equality objectives in 49.3% of its ODA for humanitarian aid, above the 2021-22 DAC average of 17%.

  • Japan screens the majority of their bilateral allocable aid activities against the DAC gender equality policy marker (91.9% in 2021-22).

  • Japan committed USD 16.1 million of ODA to end violence against women and girls and USD 13.9 million to support women’s rights organisations and movements and government institutions in 2021-22.

Learn more about Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls: DAC Guidance for Development Partners and the DAC Recommendation on Ending Sexual Exploitation in Development Co-operation.

In 2021-22, Japan committed 68.8% of its total bilateral allocable aid (USD 9.5 billion) in support of the environment and the Rio Conventions (the DAC average was 35.1%), up from 65.8% in 2019-20. Unpacking the environmental data further:

  • Fiftheen per cent of screened bilateral allocable aid focused on environmental issues as a principal objective, compared with the DAC average of 11%.

  • Sixty-eight per cent of total bilateral allocable aid (USD 9.4 billion) focused on climate change overall, up from 65.2% in 2019-20 (the DAC average was 30.5%). Japan had a greater focus on mitigation (44.6%) than on adaptation (36.8%) in 2021-22.

  • Two per cent of screened bilateral allocable aid (USD 273.5 million) focused on biodiversity overall, up from 1.4% in 2019-20 (the DAC average was 7.2%).

Learn more about the DAC Declaration on Aligning Development Co-operation with the Goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change [DAC/CHAIR(2021)1/FINAL].

The OECD initiative Sustainable Oceans for All shows that Japan committed USD 161.9 million in support of the conservation and sustainable use of the ocean in 2022, USD 77.5 million more than in 2021. The 2022 value is equivalent to 1% of Japan’s bilateral allocable aid.

In 2022, Japan also:

  • Committed USD 6.2 million of bilateral ODA to the mobilisation of domestic resources in developing countries. Regarding the payment of local tax and customs duties for ODA-funded goods and services, Japan generally requests exemptions on its ODA-funded goods and services in partner countries and territories. It makes information available on the OECD Digital Transparency Hub on the Tax Treatment of ODA.

  • Committed USD 10.2 billion (62% of its bilateral allocable aid) to promote aid for trade and improve developing countries’ trade performance and integration into the world economy. Japan is among the top 10 official providers of aid for trade globally.

  • Committed USD 1.3 billion (7.9% of its bilateral allocable aid) to address the immediate or underlying determinants of malnutrition in developing countries across a variety of sectors, such as water supply and sanitation, agriculture, forestry, fishing and emergency response.

  • Committed USD 5.1 billion (30.8% of its bilateral allocable aid) to development co-operation projects and programmes that promote the inclusion and empowerment of persons with disabilities.

Japan uses leveraging mechanisms to mobilise private finance for sustainable development. In 2022, JICA mobilised USD 96.3 million from the private sector through syndicated loans. This constituted an 82.6% decrease compared to 2021.

A share of 52.5% targeted middle-income countries and 15.2% the LDCs and other low-income countries (LICs) in 2021-22, noting that 32.2% was unallocated by income.

Mobilised private finance by Japan in 2021-22 related mainly to activities in Energy (62.3%), as its top sector. Furthermore, 86.1% of Japan’s total mobilised private finance over this period was for climate action.

In 2022, the JICA extended USD 417.4 million in the form of private sector instruments (PSI) to developing countries. Of this, loans accounted for 75.4%, whereas equities represented 24.6%.

In 2022, USD 17 million (4.1%) of Japan’s private sector instruments were allocated to the LDCs and other LICs, while a majority (73.6%) went to middle-income countries and UMICs in particular (58.6%). Moreover, USD 93.2 million was unallocated by income. Japan’s private sector instruments mostly supported projects in the industry, mining and construction (41.6%) and other multisector (31.2%).

The Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation monitoring exercise tracks the implementation of the effectiveness commitments. Following the reform of the exercise over 2020-22, the 4th global monitoring round (2023-26) is underway. Information on partner countries’ participation in the exercise, as well as their progress, is available at the Global Dashboard. Japan’s results from the 2016 and 2018 monitoring rounds can be found here.

To help improve the transparency of development co-operation, the OECD provides regular feedback to members on the overall quality of their statistical reporting and works with each member to ensure the data meet high-quality standards before they are published. Regarding DAC/CRS reporting to the OECD, Japan’s reporting in 2022 was on time and complete, with some areas to improve regarding the accuracy of the data.

Total official support for sustainable development (TOSSD) is an international statistical standard that monitors all official and officially supported resources for financing the SDGs in developing countries, as well as for addressing global challenges. It provides a broad measure of development finance with the objective of increasing transparency and accountability of all external support that developing countries receive. In 2022, activities reported by Japan as TOSSD totalled USD 23 billion, from USD 22.6 billion in 2021. Japan’s TOSSD activities mostly targeted SDG 2 End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture, and SDG 8 Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. Activity-level data on TOSSD by recipient are available at: https://tossd.online.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) is responsible for co-ordinating the planning of Japan’s development co-operation policies and most contributions to multilateral organisations. JICA is the main agency responsible for implementing bilateral ODA. It provides grants, Japanese ODA loans and technical co-operation in response to the priorities of each partner country. JICA conducts its operations based on medium-term plans stipulating five-year cycles. The 5th Medium-Term Plan (2022-2026) addresses infrastructure, economic growth, human-centred development, universal values and peacebuilding, and global issues.

As of 2023, MOFA had approximately 6 500 staff, 45% based in Japan and 55% based in embassies abroad. JICA has approximately 1 960 staff, 80% of which are based in Japan and 20% of which are in country offices abroad.

Japanese CSOs are active in development co-operation, humanitarian assistance and global citizenship education. The Japan NGO Center for International Co-operation promotes networking and collaborative activities among NGOs engaged in international co-operation.

Internal systems and processes help ensure the effective delivery of Japan’s development co-operation. Select features are shown in the table below.

Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA): https://www.jica.go.jp/english

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA): https://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/index.html

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (2023), Japan’s Development Cooperation Charter: Japan’s contribution to the Sustainable Development of a Free and Open World. https://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/oda/page24e_000410.html

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (2015), Development Co-operation Charter: For Peace, Prosperity and a Better Future for Everyone: https://www.mofa.go.jp/files/000067701.pdf

JICA (2022), Japan International Co-operation Agency, Annual Report: https://www.jica.go.jp/english/publications/reports/annual/2022/fh2q4d000001doiv-att/2022_all.pdf

Japan NGO Center for International Co-operation: https://www.janic.org/en/

Japan’s practices on the Development Co-operation TIPs: Tools Insights Practices learning platform: https://www.oecd.org/development-cooperation-learning?tag-key+partner=japan#search

Member of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) since 1960.

The methodological notes provide further details on the definitions and statistical methodologies applied, including the grant-equivalent methodology, core and earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations, country programmable aid, channels of delivery, bilateral ODA unspecified/unallocated, bilateral allocable aid, the gender equality policy marker, and the environment markers.


← 1. DAC members adopted the grant-equivalent methodology starting from their reporting of 2018 data as a more accurate way to count the donor effort in development loans. See the methodological notes for further details.

← 2. Non-grants include sovereign loans, multilateral loans, equity investment and loans to the private sector.

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