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President's Desk

Message from the President

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In May 2019, Japan celebrated the enthronement of its new Emperor and the dawn of the new era, "Reiwa." It was taken from phrases appearing in Japan's oldest poetry anthology "Manyoshu," and includes the meaning of culture coming into being and flourishing when people bring their hearts and minds together in a beautiful manner. At around the same time, JICA also celebrated a significant milestone in October 2018—the tenth anniversary of its transition to "New JICA." A decade ago, JICA dramatically transformed its organization, merging two implementing organizations of Japan's official development assistance (ODA) under one body to enable holistic cooperation. In the years that lie ahead, the staff of JICA will diligently and enthusiastically work together with wide-ranging partners, both in Japan and overseas, to utilize Japan's expertise and experience for international cooperation.

In accordance with Japan's Development Cooperation Charter (2015), JICA set out its mission in 2017 as "to achieve Human Security and Quality Growth." The notion of Human Security was first proposed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 1993 and later affirmed by the United Nations General Assembly. Today's global commitment to "leave no one behind," which lays at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted at the United Nations Summit in 2015, also encompasses the core essence of Human Security. In light of various changes in the more than 25 years since the notion of "Human Security" was first proposed, JICA is now committed to enhancing its efforts to achieve Human Security to respond to the threats and challenges of today.

As part of these efforts, JICA seeks to strengthen its collaborations with both domestic and overseas partners to encourage developing countries to better address their challenges and achieve quality growth, namely inclusive, sustainable, and resilient growth. To start, we recognize the benefits that Japan's private sector can bring to developing countries through sharing their knowledge, technologies, and resources. This is why JICA has been working in overdrive to expand its partnership with private companies and vitalize its private sector engagement structures to harness their expertise.
In an effort to enhance its support for the overseas operations of its private sector partners, JICA consolidated a number of related programs into "SDGs Business Supporting Surveys."

Our vision of enhanced partnership is not limited to the private sector alone. We recognize the special role that a wide range of partners, like local governments, universities, research institutions, non-governmental organizations, and cooperative associations, can play in advancing international cooperation. While developing countries can benefit from these enhanced partnerships,it is also vital to recognize that international cooperation is beneficial for stakeholders on both sides. As future leaders of developing countries come to Japan to participate in technical training programs at different localities in Japan, these interactions not only enable local communities to further hone their craft, but also provide connections that can vitalize Japanese communities.

As we approach the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020, JICA will also take advantage of the power of sports to promote international cooperation. While Japanese local governments and developing countries are seeking their partners under the Japan's Host Towns Initiative, JICA not only facilitates their matching but contributes to deepening their relationships. This would also promote Japanese people's understanding of the global society. Aside from the large number of tourists that will visit Japan for the upcoming international sporting events, Japan is currently experiencing a rising number of foreign nationals living and working in the country than ever before. To promote smoother acceptance of foreign workers in Japan, we are trying to provide them with skills trainings in their home countries and to enhance further multi-tiered relationships between developing countries and a wide range of partners in Japan.

JICA will also reinforce partner countries' development efforts through the JICA Development Studies Program (JICA-DSP), which launched in 2018 in collaboration with Japanese universities. The program annually selects 1,000 young leaders from developing countries to come to Japan to partake in their post-graduate studies.
Through the program, the students not only study in their specialized subjects at collaborating Japanese universities, they also have the opportunity to study the history of Japan's modernization after the Meiji Restoration. Through debriefs about Japan's development history, the participants also learn about the differences of Japan's modernization experience, compared to those of western countries, while also learning about the expertise that Japan brings as a postwar donor country.

In addition to these efforts, JICA will also continue to strengthen peacebuilding efforts amid rising risks to global stability. In light of various security incidents, including the 2016 terrorist attack in Dhaka, Bangladesh, JICA has been working diligently to review and improve its safety measures to ensure the safety of all personnel involved in JICA projects and activities.

In 2019, Japan proudly hosted the G20 Osaka Summit and the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7), exhibiting Japan's dynamism to the world. As the international development agency of the Government of Japan, JICA seeks to harness Japan's experiences and expertise to address global challenges and ensure inclusive development for all people.
Under our vision "Leading the world with trust," JICA promises to engage tirelessly to pursue effective international cooperation with our partners both in Japan and abroad.

Shinichi Kitaoka
President, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
December 2019

The President's Activities

November 21, 2019JICA receives a National Order of Merit from the Government of Paraguay: Contribution to the development of Paraguay spans over 40 years
November 20, 2019President Kitaoka visited Brazil and Paraguay: Strengthening relations with both countries built on trust
October 31, 2019JICA President Kitaoka held talks with Afghanistan President Ghani

Speech Transcripts

August 29, 2019Opening Speech at the TICAD 7 Side Event "Health Challenges and Innovative Approaches for Human Security in Africa"
August 29, 2019Organizer speech at the TICAD 7 High-level Side Event "Towards Enhanced Partnership and Solidarity to Support Forcibly Displaced Persons in Africa"
August 28, 2019Opening at the TICAD 7 Side Event "Education for Africa to Empower Future Generations"


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