Bilateral Profiles and National Agencies > Japan

General information on Japanese development cooperation

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), International Cooperation Planning Headquarters is responsible for charting out Japan’s ODA policy and strategy, whilst implementation of ODA programmes lie with the key ODA implementing Agency Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) . In the area of AfT, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) also play an important role in the implementation of trade and private sector related technical cooperation programmes.

Aid for Trade (AfT) Strategy

The main objectives of Japan’s AfT strategy are the following:

  1. Economic Infrastructure Development
  2. Promotion of Trade and Investment
  3. Promoting Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Strengthening Competitiveness
  4. Improvement of Soft Industrial Bases
  5. Promoting Local Industry and Economy

Prior to the WTO Hong Kong Ministerial Conference, held in December 2005, Japan announced the “Development Initiative for Trade”, which forms the basis of its AfT Strategy. This is a comprehensive package of measures which assist developing countries to benefit from the multilateral trading system. It includes, for example, the implementation of duty-free and quota-free market access for essentially all products originating from all Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and various programmes through ODA. Japan has fully implemented its commitments under the “Development Initiative for Trade”. In December 2005, it pledged to provide US$10 billion of financial assistance to Af T initiatives over a three-year period

(2006-2008). Based on the CRS statistics elaborated by the OECD, its AfT contribution amounted to approximately US$4.6 billion in 2006, approximately US$4.3 billion in 2007, and approximately US$8.7 billion in 2008.

In July 2009, a new AfT Strategy, “Development Initiative for Trade 2009”, was announced by the Japanese Government. Under this new initiative, Japan pledged to provide US$12 billion through bilateral assistance for trade-related projects from 2009 to 2011. Japan has fully implemented its financial commitments. Based on the CRS statistics elaborated by the OECD, its AfT contribution amounted to approximately US$6.1 billion in 2009, approximately US$9.4 billion in 2010, and approximately US$7.9 billion in 2011.

It pledged to also deploy close to 40,000 trade-related technical experts to developing countries during that period.

The 2009 initiative also focuses on improving AfT implementation and on meeting commitments in the area of trade finance made at the G20 London Summit in April 2009.

The areas of focus of Japan’s AfT interventions are: (i) regional infrastructure development for the facilitation of cross-border procedures (One Stop Border Post) and the development of power distribution and transmission lines; and (ii) financial support and joint public-private sector missions for trade and investment promotion.

Furthermore, since September 2008, Japan has been reinforcing its efforts in the area of trade finance and related fields in order to tackle the global financial crisis. The corner stone of its AfT strategy is supporting the cross-fertilization of experience between Asia and Africa. Its AfT programmes bring together its best practices in Asia (Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Mekong Regional programmes) and Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia Tanzania, Zambia). In this regard, Japan has been fully involved in the AfT Asia-Pacific RTG (Regional Technical Group) since its inception in March 2009. The purpose of the RTG is to discuss the successful and rich experiences of aid activities in the Asia-Pacific region, to extract some elements of the effective aid and to share them with other regions, particularly Africa. Japan hosted the Third RTG meeting in Tokyo in 2010 and submitted the first report to the Third Global Review of AfT, an opportunity for the WTO members to survey what has been achieved through AfT. In March 2013, Japan will host the Sixth RTG meeting in Tokyo to complete the second report which will be submitted to the Fourth Global Review in July 2013. In geographical focus, the Japanese Government’s AfT funding goes predominantly to Asia, especially India, Indonesia and Vietnam. In 2009, it was the largest AfT donor in the Asia region; but Africa is also an important region for the Japanese Government’s development cooperation.

In this regard, in June 2013, Japan will co-host the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICADV) with the United Nations, the United Nations Development Programme, the World Bank and the African Union Commission. Japan continuously promotes Aft for Africa as well as other region. Demands for AfT from African countries have increased, especially in infrastructure development, such as road networks, and the facilitation of cross-border procedures, such as One Stop Border Posts (OSBP).

Japan provides aid at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels, with regional initiatives its preferred approach to implementing its AfT strategy. At the regional level, it channels its AfT funding for Asia through the ADB and other agencies. It is actively carrying out projects for cross-border infrastructure development and technical cooperation such as the development of “Cross Border Transportation Infrastructure” (CBTI) in the Great Mekong Sub-region, improvement of international trunk roads and related technical assistance in Africa, and construction of One Stop Border Posts in Africa.

Japan is also increasingly channelling its AfT funding through multilateral initiatives and international organizations such as the EIF, WCO and ITC, in order to improve the harmonization and alignment of Japanese ODA. In the area of technical assistance, Japan dispatched 3,297 experts to developing countries and accepted 11,636 trainees from developing countries in 2009, and dispatched 3,286 experts and accepted 8,134 trainees in 2010. Japan dispatched 3,297 experts to developing countries and accepted 11,636 trainees from developing countries in 2009, and dispatched 3,286 experts and accepted 8,134 trainees in 2010.Result of 2011 is under aggregating calculation.

Source: Aid for Trade at a Glance 2011 – Donor Information: Japan

Principal official agencies responsible for TCB assistance to developing countries


Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

1-6th floor, Nibancho Center Building 5-25

Niban-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8012

Tel: +81 35 226 6660/6661/6662/6663


Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA)

Kasumigaseki 2-2-1, Chiyoda-ku

Tokyo 100-8919

Tel: +81 33 580 3311


Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA): JICA is an independent administrative institution that coordinates ODA for the Government of Japan. It is charged with assisting economic and social growth in developing countries and the promotion of international cooperation and is responsible for the transfer of technical assistance and knowledge. The current organization was formed on October 1, 2003, as outlined in the International Cooperation (Independent Governmental) Agency Act of 2002. Its predecessor (also known as “JICA”) was a semi-governmental organization under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, formed in 1974. In 2008 JICA and part of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) merged to form the “New JICA”. The New JICA has become one of the largest bilateral development organizations in the world, with a network of 138 overseas offices, projects in more than 150 countries, and available financial resources of approximately US$11.4 billion in 2011. The reorganized agency is also responsible for administering part of Japan’s grant aid, which is currently under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and so all three major ODA components – technical cooperation, grant aid, and concessional loans – are now managed under one roof. The New JICA will also strengthen research and training capacity in the years ahead, acting as a kind of ODA think tank, contributing to global development strategies, strengthening collaboration with international institutions, and being better able to communicate Japan’s position on major development and aid issues.

For more information:

JICA Research Institute: JICA-RI conducts cross-field research and analyzes developing country issues, building on the operational experiences and analytic results of the former JICA and JBIC. It analyses the growth experiences of Japan and its East Asian neighbours and draws lessons applicable to other regions. JICA-RI is open to domestic and international researchers, aid-implementing organizations, government bodies, private-sector corporations and NGOs, and it networks with both domestic and international institutes and individuals through joint studies. It is also equipped to provide input to policy makers and donor organizations in developing countries.

For more information:

Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV): JICA dispatches volunteers to developing countries to work together with local communities. The four major types of volunteers are the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (ages 20 to 39), the Senior Volunteers (ages 40 to 69), and the Volunteers and Senior Volunteers for Japanese Communities Overseas. JOCVs operate in a number of areas, including agriculture, forestry and fisheries, processing, maintenance, civil engineering, health and hygiene, education and culture, and sport.

For more information:

Other government and official agencies with responsibilities directly relevant to TCB


Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA)

Kasumigaseki 2-2-1, Chiyoda-ku

Tokyo 100-8919

Tel: +81 33 580 3311



Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC)

4-1 Ohtemachi 1-chome, Chiyoda-ku

Tokyo 100-8144


Subway Tozai Line Takebashi Station Exit 3b

Tel: + 81 35 218 3100

Fax: + 81 35 218 3955


Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) is a policy-based financial institution wholly owned by the Japanese government, which has the purpose of contributing to the sound development of Japan and the international economy and society, by taking responsibility for the financial function to promote the overseas development and securement of resources which are important for Japan, to maintain and improve the international competitiveness of Japanese industries and to promote the overseas business having the purpose of preserving the global environment, such as preventing global warming, also providing the financial services that are necessary to prevent disruptions to international financial order or to take appropriate measures with respect to damages caused by such disruption, while having the objective of supplementing the financial transactions implemented by ordinary financial institutions.

For more information:


Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)

Ark Mori Building

6F 12-32 Akasaka 1-chome Minato-ku

Tokyo 107-6006

Tel: + 81 33 582 5511



Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO): This is a government-related organization, with over 50 offices worldwide, that works to promote mutual trade and investment between Japan and the rest of the world. Facilitating economic growth in developing countries through trade promotion is also part of its core mandate. It helps companies from developing countries in Africa and Asia promote their products on the Japanese market, and has been working on various projects and activities to boost African and Asian exports to Japan through trade fairs and facilitating firms entering the Japan market. It also works on trade negotiation issues, such as the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), and provides research support through the Institute of Developing Economies (IDE).

For more information:


Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)

1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku

Tokyo 100-8901

Tel: +81 33 501 1511


Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI): METI is responsible not only in the areas of exports and imports but also for all domestic industries and businesses not specifically covered by other ministries in the areas of investment in plant and equipment, pollution control, energy and power, some aspects of foreign economic assistance, and consumer complaints. It is also involved in the formulation of industrial policy, an arbiter on industrial problems and disputes, and a regulator. A major objective of METI and Japanese industry is to lead Japanese foreign trade policy that complements the ministry’s efforts to strengthen domestic manufacturing interests. METI facilitated the early development of nearly all major industries by providing protection from import competition, technological intelligence, help in licensing foreign technology, access to foreign exchange, and assistance in mergers.

For more information:

Other official or government trade-related organizations

Institute for International Studies and Training (IIST): The IIST provides training and other capacity building activities which aim to improve the quality of personnel engaged in international economic activities as a means of promoting economic exchange among Japan and other countries. It was set up in 1967 with funding from the Japanese Government and business sector. Key programmes currently implemented by IIST are: (i) international exchange programme; (ii) human resource development; (iii) information dissemination through the IIST World Forum; and (iv) research and studies. These programmes include the development of educational materials, area studies, and research and studies on international trade issues.

For more information: E-mail: and

Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization (IDE-JETRO): IDE is a research institution affiliated with JETRO that aims to make intellectual contributions to the world as a leading centre of social-science research on developing regions. Its research activities provide an intellectual foundation to facilitate cooperation between Japan and the international community in addressing development issues. It conducts research on economic, political and societal issues in developing economies to support Japan’s expansion of harmonious trade and investment and the provision of international economic cooperation focused on these economies. Its research focuses particularly on supporting economic development in East Asia and strengthening economic ties between Japan and East Asian countries. The institute also carries out comprehensive research on developing economies throughout the world, including those in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and Oceania.

For more information: E-mail: and

International Center for Environmental Technology Transfer (ICETT): ICETT was established through the cooperation of industry, academia, and Government to promote the transfer of Japan’s environmental conservation systems. It carries out training and technical guidance, research and development, surveys and the provision of information and activities intended to promote information exchange and raise public awareness. It covers, amongst other areas, energy efficiency, clean production and clean technology, and the promotion of environmental standards. ICETT provides technical assistance in the form of lecturers and instructors who conduct training overseas.

For more information: E-mail: and

Japan Economic Foundation (JEF): JEF’s mandate is to deepen mutual understanding between Japan and other countries through a broad range of activities aimed at promoting economic and technological exchanges. It provides information about Japan and arranges opportunities to exchange ideas among opinion leaders from many countries in such fields as industry, government administration, academia and politics, with the aim of breaking down barriers to mutual understanding. Its key activities include: (i) arranging overseas visits for Japanese leaders; (ii) inviting foreign leaders to visit Japan; (iii) sponsoring international forums and seminars; (iv) conducting research on trade and industry in other countries (i.e., collecting information to help Japanese organizations with policy development); and (v) publishing information about the Japanese economy and developments in trade, industry and technology.

For more information: E-mail: and

Japan Institute for Overseas Investment (JOI): JOI aims to facilitate sound and smooth FDI from Japan and to contribute to the expansion of international economic cooperation with countries around the world. The institution collects and analyzes a wide range of information from various institutions and organizations in Japan and overseas. Its seminars cover a wide range of themes, and include seminars for foreign government officials visiting Japan on the economy, the investment climate and business opportunities. JOI also conducts research upon request on a broad spectrum of topics, such as the investment climate in emerging markets and in various sectors, such as energy.

For more information:

New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO): NEDO actively undertakes the development of new energy and energy-conservation technologies, verification of technical results, and the introduction/dissemination of new technologies. As Japan’s largest public research and development management organization, it endeavours to promote advanced technology that will enhance Japan’s industrial competitiveness and resolve energy and global environmental issues. Under its International Cooperative Research Program, NEDO aims to address technical development issues and foster research and development capacity in developing countries by leveraging Japan’s own technical capabilities and research and development capacity, and by conducting collaborative research and development with the research institutes of developing countries.

For more information:

Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI): The Japanese trade and investment insurance system was established in 1950 to facilitate Japanese companies’ export expansion and overseas development. This insurance system has now been replaced by an independent administrative institution, NEXI. NEXI provides trade and investment insurance covering the risks in overseas trading transactions conducted by Japanese companies, such as export, import, overseas investment, and financing. The role of trade and investment insurance is to mitigate risks that are inherent in overseas trading transactions, such as restrictions on remittance of foreign currency, war and civil war, and non-payment by the export counterpart buyer. By providing this insurance, NEXI facilitates Japanese trade and investment in developing countries.

For more information:

Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI): RIETI was set up in 2001 as a new platform to bring about creative and innovative policy debates based on world-class research, analysis and policy studies from mid- and long-term strategic perspectives. It serves as an economic and industrial policy platform which provides the Government with a theoretical backbone and a knowledge network. RIETI undertakes: (i) research and studies on economic and industrial conditions as well as relevant policies both within Japan and abroad; (ii) policy proposals and public relations and the dissemination of information through publications such as the Keizai Seisaku Rebyu (Economic Policy Review), website articles, and by hosting a series of conferences; and (iii) data collection and management/ statistics processing and management. RIETI collaborates with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and carries out research in areas specific to industrial policy and competitiveness, innovation systems, domestic and international trade and globalization, amongst others.

For more information: E-mail: and

Non-governmental organizations involved in TCB

The Overseas Human Resources and Industry Development Association (HIDA) is an organization for human resources development in developing countries to promote technical cooperation through training, experts dispatch and other programmess. Through those programs, we aim at contributing to the mutual economic growth of developing countries and Japan as well as enhancing friendly relations between those countries.

For more information: E-mail: and

TCB cooperation initiatives with UN/international agencies and bilateral partners

In addition to traditional development assistance organizations such as OECD/DAC member countries, UN agencies and IFIs (for example the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and African Development Bank), JICA has been strengthening relationships with organisations with an increasing presence such as the Islamic Development Bank.

A few selected examples of Japan’s collaboration with UN/international agencies are highlighted below (details are provided under the Trade-Related Categories below):

  • WTO Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund (DDAGTF):
  • DDAGTF finances technical assistance programs and training activities for developing and least developed countries. The aim is to better adapt their practices and laws to WTO rules and disciplines, improve the implementation of their obligations and enhance the exercise of their membership right. Japan has donated CHF 9.1 million on aggregate since 2002.
  • The Government of Japan, through METI, has been providing IP-related technical assistance in partnership with WIPO since 1987 
  • Enhancing Private Sector Assistance for Africa (EPSA): EPSA is a multi-donor framework supporting the AfDB’s Private Sector Development Strategy. Drawing on successful development experience in Asia and around the globe, EPSA was conceived in partnership with the Government of Japan. A concessional loan has been set up with AfDB under the EPSA Non-sovereign Loan (NSL) component. Under EPSA, Japan has provided more than 1 billion US dollars in 5 years. 

Selected TCB programmes and activities described in this guide


  • Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD)


  • WTO Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund (DDAGTF)


  • Japan Funds in Trust for Industrial Property (FIT/JP (IP))
  • Strengthening of FDI promotion Cambodia
  • Training course for developing countries on competition law and policy


  • One Village One Product (OVOP)
  • Smallholder Horticulture Empowerment and Promotion Unit Project (SHEP UP) Kenya


  • Strengthening Standard and Conformance to comply with international standards


  • JETRO support for market linkages and export promotion


  • Enhancing Private Sector Assistance for Africa (EPSA)


  • Facilitating trade and investment in Africa – JBIC (Facility for African Investment (FAI)
  • Trade finance initiative in cooperation with IFC programmes supporting trade with developing countries