Policy Papers Asie Visions

Determinants of Japan’s ODA Allocation in Africa Asie.Visions 84, March 2016

The debate on emerging donors raises a question whether traditional donors really follow their own ODA (Official Development Assistance) policies or not. This paper addresses the question by investigating Japan’s adherence to its own ODA policies.


The paper adopts a mixed method using historical analysis, statistical analysis, and case studies. The historical analysis explains that Japan’s aid implementation was influenced by latent motives such as the national interests and extrinsic motives from third parties, as well as official motives based on the ODA policies. The statistical analysis finds that Japan’s motives for aid allocations in Africa were unclear during the formative period, but that it became strategized once the ODA Charter was introduced in 1992. It also highlights that Japan became relatively responsive to the official motives and that third parties including China influenced Japan’s aid allocations in Africa during the revised Charter period from 2003. The case studies of Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire find that elections and a multi-party system increased the aid volume, while a coup decreased the volume. It also points out that Japan’s aid motives tilted toward its own national interests due to the increasing presence of China.

Determinants of Japan’s ODA Allocation in Africa
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Development Asia Japan Africa