Reconsidering the History of Japan's Development Cooperation Series, Volume 5: Japan's Cooperation to Infrastructure Development: Its History, Philosophy, and Contribution

  • #Books and Reports

Cooperation to socioeconomic infrastructure development in Asia has made up the core of Japan's official development assistance (ODA) from the era of post-war reparations and quasi-reparations—the origin of Japanese ODA—up until the present. The book looks back at the philosophy and history behind that assistance, while comparing it with assistance by Western and emerging donors, to examine the conditions under which Japan's assistance can stand out today.

In Part One, the book discusses how the philosophy, policies, and modalities of Japan's cooperation to infrastructure development have changed in each era, starting from the pre-ODA period of the 1940s, post-war reparations, covering the quantitative expansion of aid and the shift to untied assistance, and going up until Japan's initiative for quality infrastructure in the 2010s. Furthermore, the book also asks if Japan's ODA really contributed, exploring aspects such as the economic impact of the assistance and its contributions to poverty reduction. In Part Two, the book takes a look at Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, China, and India, which have been major countries for Japan's cooperation to infrastructure development, and explains its history in each country.

The book, which provides a historical overview of infrastructure development, reveals the philosophy —about nation-building, human resources development, and drawing out the self-help efforts of recipient countries—at the root of Japan's cooperation to infrastructure development. The author was in charge of many infrastructure development projects in Asia at the Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund (one of the predecessors of JICA), and was stationed in Myanmar and Malaysia. Reflecting on his 38 years of having constantly dealt with infrastructure development in the field, he shares his experiences, not limited to the success stories of Japan's cooperation to infrastructure development, but including the criticisms and challenges, as well.

This is the fifth volume of a seven-volume book series, "Nihon no Kaihatsukyoryokushi wo Toinaosu (Reconsidering the History of Japan's Development Cooperation)" published in Japanese as the result of a research project by the JICA Ogata Sadako Research Institute for Peace and Development, entitled "Japan's Development Cooperation: A Historical Perspective."

Yamada Junichi
Date of issuance
March 2021
University of Tokyo Press
Number of pages
219 page
  • #Japan's Development Cooperation
Research area
Development Cooperation Strategies
Research project