Japan prioritises self-reliant development and the mutual benefits to be gained from development co-operation for Japan and its partner countries. Drawing on its experience and expertise, it tackles poverty, environmental degradation and economic growth, respecting partner countries’ ownership and promoting development that builds on social and cultural values. Japan’s Group of Seven (G7) presidency in 2023 looks to boost multilateral co-operation to drive economic recovery, climate change mitigation, public health and non-proliferation. Japan’s total official development assistance (ODA) (USD 17.5 billion, grant-equivalent methodology, preliminary data) increased in 2022 due to an increase in its bilateral lending, which includes support to Ukraine. ODA represented 0.39% of gross national income (GNI).

Find the methodological notes behind the profile here.

The 2015 Development Co-operation Charter underscores the mutual benefits of peace and security, and is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Japan seeks to reduce poverty and leave no one behind, including by helping to improve local capacity to grow the economy through technological and financial co-operation. Its development co-operation is primarily delivered through partner governments. The Japan International Cooperation Agency’s (JICA) 5th Medium-Term Plan (2022-2026) addresses infrastructure and economic growth, human-centred development, universal values and peacebuilding, and global issues.

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 a Free and Open Indo-Pacific, Japan seeks to establish a rules-based international order by promoting fundamental principles such as the rule of law, freedom of navigation and free trade, pursuing economic prosperity with connectivity, and building commitment to peace and stability. Japan is a strong proponent of quality infrastructure investment.

The 2020 OECD-DAC peer review praised Japan’s whole-of-society approach to implementing the 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. Learn more about Japan's 2020 DAC peer review. Japan's next mid-term review is planned for 2024.

Japan provided USD 17.5 billion (preliminary data) of ODA in 2022 (USD 21 billion in constant terms), representing 0.39% of GNI.1 This was an increase of 19% in real terms in volume and an increase in share of GNI from 0.34% in 2021. Japan's ODA has risen steadily over the past decade, nearly doubling in volume and as a share of GNI. 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 2021, 41.7% was provided in the form of grants and 58.3% in the form of non-grants.2

In 2022, Japan ranked 3rd in terms of ODA volume and 15th among Development Assistance Committee (DAC) countries when ODA is taken as a share of GNI. The overwhelming majority of Japan's ODA is delivered bilaterally and through the public sector. Japan committed the highest share of any DAC member (72.7% of bilateral allocable aid in 2020-21) in support of the environment and the Rio Conventions. Amongst DAC members, it has one of the highest shares of country programmable aid (79.8%) and aid for trade (50.6% of its bilateral allocable aid). 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, Development Assistance Committee standards and recommendations. Learn more about DAC recommendations.

Japan provided a higher share of its ODA bilaterally in 2021. Gross bilateral ODA was 81.1% of total ODA. Eleven per cent of gross bilateral ODA was channelled through multilateral organisations (earmarked contributions). Japan allocated 18.9% of total ODA as core contributions to multilateral organisations.

In 2022, Japan provided USD 710.9 million of gross bilateral ODA to Ukraine to respond to the impacts of Russia's war of aggression, of which USD 117.2 million was humanitarian assistance (preliminary data).

In 2022, Japan provided USD 3.3 billion in ODA for the COVID-19 response. Regarding COVID-19 vaccines, donations of excess doses to developing countries accounted for USD 60.5 million of ODA. In 2020 and 2021, Japan's total bilateral support for COVID-19 response was USD 3 billion and USD 3.9 billion, respectively.

In 2021, Japan provided USD 6.1 billion of gross ODA to the multilateral system, an increase of 23.4% in real terms from 2020. Of this, USD 4.1 billion was core multilateral ODA, while non-core contributions were earmarked for a specific country, region, theme or purpose. Project-type funding earmarked for a specific theme and/or country accounted for 35% of Japan's non-core contributions and 65% was programmatic funding (to pooled funds and specific-purpose programmes and funds).

Sixty-six per cent of Japan's total contributions to multilateral organisations in 2021 was allocated to the World Bank, regional development banks, and other UN entities (in descending order).

The UN system received 28.7% of Japan's multilateral contributions, mainly in the form of earmarked contributions. Out of a total volume of USD 1.6 billion to the UN system, the top three UN recipients of Japan's support (core and earmarked contributions) were UNICEF (USD 318.7 million), UNDP (USD 236.5 million) and WFP (USD 232.4 million).

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

In 2021, Japan's bilateral spending increased compared to the previous year. It provided USD 17.8 billion of gross bilateral ODA (which includes earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations). This represented an increase of 9.4% in real terms from 2020. In 2021, Japan focused most of its bilateral ODA on industry, innovation and infrastructure, climate action, and sustainable cities and communities, goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

In 2021, country programmable aid was 79.8% of Japan's gross bilateral ODA, compared to a DAC country average of 45.2%.

Japan is a pioneer in South-South and triangular co-operation, having started "third country training programmes" in 1975. Japan has dispatched more than 84,000 participants to these programmes from 1981 to 2021. Learn more about triangular co-operation and specific projects at the OECD's voluntary triangular co-operation project repository.

In 2021, Japan channelled bilateral ODA mainly through the public sector as earmarked funding. Technical co-operation made up 7.6% of gross ODA in 2021.

In 2021, civil society organisations (CSOs) received USD 227.8 million of gross bilateral ODA. One per cent of gross bilateral ODA was allocated to CSOs as core contributions and 0.5% was channelled through CSOs to implement projects initiated by the donor (earmarked funding). From 2020 to 2021, the combined core and earmarked contributions for CSOs decreased as a share of bilateral ODA, from 1.3% to 1.3%. Learn more about ODA allocations to and through CSOs, civil society engagement in development co-operation, and the DAC Recommendation on Enabling Civil Society in Development Co-operation and Humanitarian Aid.

In 2021, Japan's bilateral ODA was primarily focused on Asia (excluding the Middle East). USD 10.7 billion was allocated to Asia (excluding the Middle East) and USD 2.4 billion to Africa, accounting respectively for 60.3% and 13.5% of gross bilateral ODA. USD 929.8 million (5.2%) was allocated to the Middle East. Asia was also the main regional recipient of Japan's earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations.

In 2021, 57.2% of gross bilateral ODA went to Japan's top 10 recipients. Its top 10 recipients are all in Asia, with the exception of Iraq and Egypt. This is in line with Japan's focus on a free and open Indo-Pacific region. The share of gross bilateral ODA that was not allocated by country was 15.6%.

In 2021, the least developed countries (LDCs) received 24.1% of Japan's gross bilateral ODA (USD 4.3 billion). This is slightly higher than the DAC average of 22.9%. Japan allocated the highest share of gross bilateral ODA (47.6%) to lower middle-income countries in 2021, noting that 15.6% was unallocated by income group. Within bilateral ODA that was unallocated, Japan estimates that 1.3% was directed to the LDCs. Japan allocated 8% of gross bilateral ODA to land-locked developing countries in 2021, equal to USD 1.4 billion. Japan allocated 5.5% of gross bilateral ODA to small island developing states (SIDS) in 2021, equal to USD 973.7 million.

Support to fragile contexts reached USD 5.6 billion in 2021, representing 31.7% of Japan's gross bilateral ODA. Eight per cent of this ODA was provided in the form of humanitarian assistance, increasing from 3.8% in 2020, while 3% was allocated to peace, increasing from 2.3% in 2020. Two per cent went to conflict prevention, a subset of contributions to peace, compared to 1.6% in 2020.

Learn more about support to fragile contexts on the States of Fragility platform.

In 2021, just over one third of Japan's bilateral ODA was allocated for economic infrastructure and services. Investments in this area accounted for 35.8% of bilateral ODA commitments (USD 5.5 billion), focusing on transport and storage (USD 3.3 billion), energy (USD 2.1 billion) and banking and financial services (USD 60 million). ODA for social infrastructure and services totalled 27.8% of bilateral ODA commitments (USD 4.3 billion), with a strong focus on support to health (USD 1.8 billion), water supply and sanitation (USD 1.2 billion) and education (USD 498.2 million). Bilateral humanitarian assistance amounted to USD 950.5 million (6.2% of bilateral ODA). In 2021, earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations focused on health, emergency response and government and civil society.

In 2020-21, Japan committed 52.8% of its screened bilateral allocable aid to gender equality and women's empowerment, as either a principal or significant objective (up from 52% in 2018-19, compared with the 2020-21 DAC average of 44.4%). This is equal to USD 7.8 billion of bilateral ODA in support of gender equality. The share of screened bilateral allocable aid committed to gender equality and women's empowerment as a principal objective was 0.9% in 2020-21, compared with the DAC average of 4.5%. Japan includes gender equality objectives in 72.7% of its ODA for humanitarian aid, compared with the 2020-21 DAC average of 17.5%. Japan screens the majority of activities against the DAC gender equality policy marker (92.7% in 2020-21). Japan committed USD 17.3 million to support women's rights organisations and movements and government institutions in 2020-21. Learn more about ODA focused on gender equality, the DAC Network on Gender Equality and the DAC Recommendation on Ending Sexual Exploitation in Development Co-operation.

In 2020-21, Japan committed 72.7% of its total bilateral allocable aid (USD 11.6 billion) in support of the environment and the Rio Conventions (DAC average of 34.3%), up from 51.8% in 2018-19. Unpacking the environmental data further:

  • Fourteen per cent of screened bilateral allocable aid focused on environmental issues as a principal objective, compared with the DAC average of 11.3%.

  • Seventy-two per cent of total bilateral allocable aid (USD 11.5 billion) focused on climate change overall (the DAC average was 29%), up from 49.7% in 2018-19. Japan had a greater focus on adaptation (48.8%) than on mitigation (30.3%) in 2020-21.

  • Two per cent of total bilateral allocable aid (USD 259.6 million) focused on biodiversity (compared with the DAC average of 6.5%), up from 1.2% in 2018-19.

Learn more about climate-related development finance and the DAC Declaration on Aligning Development Co-operation with the Goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

The OECD initiative Sustainable Oceans for All shows that Japan committed USD 100.8 million in support of the conservation and sustainable use of the ocean in 2021, down from USD 1.6 billion in 2020. The 2021 value is equivalent to 0.7% of Japan's bilateral allocable aid. Learn more about development co-operation in support of a sustainable ocean economy and the data platform on development finance for a sustainable ocean economy.

In 2021, Japan also:

  • Committed USD 11.2 million of bilateral ODA to the mobilisation of domestic resources in developing countries, amounting to 0.1% of its bilateral allocable aid. Regarding the payment of local tax and custom duties for ODA-funded goods and services, Japan generally requests exemptions on its ODA-funded goods and services in partner countries and territories and makes information available on the OECD Digital Transparency Hub on the Tax Treatment of ODA.

  • Committed USD 6.8 billion (50.6% of its bilateral allocable aid) to promote aid for trade and improve developing countries' trade performance and integration into the world economy in 2021. Japan is among the top 10 official providers of aid for trade globally.

  • Committed USD 1.8 billion (13.3% of its bilateral allocable aid) to address the immediate or underlying determinants of malnutrition in developing countries across a variety of sectors, such as maternal health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) or agriculture.

  • Committed USD 4.2 billion (31.1% 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 2021, JICA and the Japan Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC) mobilised USD 552.1 million from the private sector through direct investment in companies and special purpose vehicles, syndicated loans, shares in collective investment vehicles, and credit lines.

In 2020-21, 79.8% of mobilised private finance by Japan targeted middle-income countries and 0.2% LDCs and other low-income countries (LICs), noting that 19.9% was unallocated by income. During the same period, the top beneficiary region of this financing was Asia (excluding the Middle East) (37.8% of the total).

Mobilised private finance by Japan in 2020-21 mainly benefited activities in the energy (69.9%) sector. Furthermore, over this period, 77.9% of Japan's total mobilised private finance was for climate action.

Learn more about the amounts mobilised from the private sector for development.

In 2021, JICA extended USD 627.1 million in the form of private sector instruments. Of this, loans represented 56.6%, whereas equities accounted for 43.4%.

In 2021, USD 320.3 million (51.1%) of Japan's private sector instruments were allocated to middle-income countries and UMICs in particular (45.4%). Moreover, USD 306.8 million were unallocated by income, mostly including equity investments with a regional focus.

Top three recipients included Brazil, Viet Nam and Iraq, together accounting for 49.3% of Japan's private sector instruments to developing countries in 2021.

In terms of sectoral distribution, 35.7% of Japan's private sector instruments were extended in support of projects in the other multisector, followed by health (24.1%), energy, (21.3%) and industry, mining, and construction (9.7%). Health, education and other social sectors received USD 169.9 million through private sector instruments. A share of 53.1% of this financing focused on climate change mitigation and/or adaptation.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has responsibility for co-ordinating the planning of Japan’s development co-operation policies and most contributions to multilateral organisations. JICA has the main responsibility for implementing bilateral ODA. JICA 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 and economic growth, human-centred development, universal values and peacebuilding, and global issues. As of 2022, MOFA has approximately 6 300 staff, 44% of which are based in Japan and 56% are in embassies abroad. JICA has approximately 1 950 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.

The Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation monitoring exercise tracks the implementation of the effectiveness commitments. Following a reform of the exercise during 2020-22, the 4th global monitoring round (2023-26) has resumed. More detailed results for Japan based on the 2016 and 2018 Monitoring Rounds can be found here. Monitoring profiles for other providers are available here.

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 (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 2019 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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