Global International Cooperation and Japan’s International Cooperation

Global International Cooperation and Japan’s International Cooperation

Shigeru Ishikawa June 2008

1. Introduction

Recently, I had an opportunity to talk with a group of students, who asked me to give an overview of international cooperation in Europe and the United States, which are relatively distant from us. They asked me to give an overview of international cooperation in Europe and the United States, which are relatively distant from us, and in particular to compare Japan’s international cooperation with that of Europe and the United States and introduce the similarities and differences. I used the term “international cooperation” for the time being. I started by defining the term “international cooperation” as “assistance from industrialized countries to developing countries to promote development. I wanted to respond to the request by examining the following three issues. The first is to examine the “economic interdependence” between industrialized countries and developing countries in the most comprehensive and historically significant way. The first is to grasp the “economic interdependence” between industrialized and developing countries in the most comprehensive and historically meaningful way over a long period of time. In addition to the above definition of international cooperation, the term “economic interdependence” is also evaluated as “negative (value) international cooperation” rather than positive (value) international cooperation, such as economic deprivation and colonial rule. In addition to the above definition of international cooperation, the actions of industrialized countries are evaluated as “negative international cooperation” rather than “positive international cooperation. In this paper, I would like to examine how international cooperation as defined above is mixed with the actions of industrialized countries, such as economic deprivation and colonial rule, which are regarded as “negative international cooperation” rather than “positive international cooperation. In order to examine this issue, it would be wise to refer to the late Nobel Peace Prize winner Simon Kuznets’ “Modern Economic Growth” (MEG) analytical framework and the analysis based on it. It seems wise to refer to the late Simon Kuznets’ analytical framework of “Modern Economic Growth” (MEG) and the analysis based on it. In the MEG era, which began during the Industrial Revolution and is still ongoing, developing countries have been the main beneficiaries. In the MEG era, which began during the Industrial Revolution and is still ongoing, developing countries received positive international cooperation for only half a century after World War II. For most of the rest of the period, developing countries continued to be mainly colonies of the great powers. The second is that Japan’s international cooperation during this relatively small period after World War II, when the industrialized countries engaged in positive international cooperation, is not the same as that of other countries. At the beginning of this period, after starting over as a defeated country that had lost its colonies, Japan worked hard to become an export power and used its foreign currency reserves for international cooperation.

In the 1990s, Japan became the world’s top donor, but after 2001, it fell out of the top position and by 2007, it was ranked fifth, behind the United States, Britain, France, and Germany. However, it is desirable to make a comparative evaluation based on the international responsibility of each donor in each period, rather than on the amount of international cooperation. In this sense, despite persistent domestic criticism, Japan’s foreign aid system, which had a history of reparations and quasi-reparations and was formally established in the early 1960s, was justified in that it was based on a “request-based” approach that left the decision on the items of ODA to be provided to each country to the other. The main target of ODA was East Asia, where the countries Japan had colonized and damaged in the Pacific War were located, and where there were already hard-working people and capable governments, albeit before the start of development. In fact, East Asian countries reacted sensitively to Japanese reparations and ODA, which facilitated reconstruction and rehabilitation. Since the 1990s, however, Japan has become an aid power responsible for the development of developing countries, not just in East Asia but around the world. Even though Japan’s aid amount has dropped to fifth place, its responsibility as an aid power has not changed. However, the aid environment has changed. Not only East Asia but also developing countries around the world have changed, and development frontiers have shifted to Sub-Saharan Africa. The world’s political and economic systems have also changed dramatically. Comparison of the essays

First, I would like to focus on the period after the 1990s. Third, I would like to switch my perspective from macro to micro, and reflect on the activities of Japanese people at the forefront of international cooperation based on my own experience, although it is narrow. The resulting assessment is sometimes even moving.

2. “Modern Economic Growth”, Developing Countries and Colonization

Let’s start with the first problem. Kuznets is a great teacher to many scholars who study the growth and development of national economy in Japan. The systematic description of the framework of “modern economic growth” was made in his book published in 1966. The Japanese translation is “Kindai Keizai Seicho no Bunseki” in two volumes (Toyo Keizai Shinpo-sha). The translator, Yuichi Shionoya, does a good job of conveying Kuznets’s precise, value-neutral writing style, like a natural scientist talking about the structure of nature. In this book, Kuznets says that the major trends in economic history can be captured by the concept of “epochal innovations. An “epoch” is a specific period of time in history in which, at a certain center, there is a massive production and accumulation of human knowledge stock from which, over a relatively long period of time, economic growth of a unique character is produced and delivered. (For example, the “commercial capitalist epoch” from the end of the 15th to the beginning of the 18th century, and the preceding “medieval urban economic epoch” after the 11th century.) The epoch of “modern economic growth” (MEG), which began in the late 18th century and continues to the present, is the latest epoch in history, and the “epochal innovation” that brought it about was the emergence of modern science and its widespread application to economic production. The industrial revolution that MEG brought to Britain and its spillover process to subsequent countries is well known. The focus of Kuznets’ analysis is on the external driving force behind the growth of MEG in the industrialized countries. He identifies three sources.

(1) Apart from the pioneer industrializing country (UK), the global knowledge stock that was taken in from outside and became the source of growth.

(2) International circulation of economic resources and goods: foreign trade (exchange), capital movements (lending and borrowing), gifts, and immigration (unilateral receipt)

(3) Aggression by one country against another – acquisition of special rights, colonial rule, or complete annexation. The first manifestation of this tendency is that of the “expansionary tendency of the great powers to participate in the MEG process. The first manifestation of this tendency was the forced opening of Japan. The first manifestation of this tendency is the forced opening of Japan, as exemplified by Commodore Perry’s coercion to open Japan. Second, a different type of foreign expansion that accompanied growth was the expansion of territory beyond national borders. Japan took territories from China and Russia, and “in the end

Japan took territories from China and Russia and “finally went to war with the United States and Britain. The third type of foreign expansion was that of forcing colonial status on vast, backward regions. According to the statistics of 1950, the total population of the colonies was 385 million, which was equivalent to 3/10 of the world population. China’s sovereignty has been constrained since the First World War, and if we add its semi-colonial status, the colonial population has reached more than half of the world’s population. Colonial rule declined as a system of governance after World War II, but the question of how the former colonies would clean up the material and spiritual aftermath remains for each country. I would like to mention here that the White Paper on International Development, released by the current Labour Party government in the United Kingdom at its inauguration in 1997, states that the key issue in the quest for international development is to control the transition from a system of “colonial empires” to a world composed of independent states.

3. International Comparison of Official Development Assistance

Moving on to the second issue, we will compare international cooperation among major donors (Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the World Bank) since the 1990s. First, let’s look at the United States. Notable among its ODA programs is the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) with an annual budget of $5 billion, which President Bush promised to create in response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The Agency for International Development (AID), which has managed US ODA almost centrally, has lost its defence-supporting character since the end of the Cold War, but it seems to have been revived here, albeit with a new focus on terrorism prevention. The new MCA budget will be hyper-focused on countries that have shown strong commitment in three areas: good governance, human resource development (health and education), and sound economic policies. In these countries, the soil in which international terrorism is nurtured will have been removed. For those countries where the budget is not available for the hyper-focused allocation, the role of AID will be reviewed to complement the functions of MCA.

The World Bank is an international development bank whose influence was originally exercised through the U.S. Treasury Department. The World Bank was originally an international development bank that exercised its influence through the U.S. Treasury Department, but during the 1995-2005 period under President Wolfensohn, its main focus was on poverty reduction in developing countries, which had become a global trend, and it ignored the investment in large-scale government-led infrastructure projects and the economic development and growth based on them that had actually been its strategic focus until the mid-1970s. After Wolfensohn’s departure, the focus shifted to poverty reduction in developing countries. After Wolfensohn’s retirement, the appointment of the president was left to a highly politicized appointment by the US president. Under these (worrisome?) circumstances, the world’s aid to the poor has been inadequate. Under these (worrisome?) circumstances, the post-1997 British Labour government, with DFID as its ministry, seems to have assumed a de facto leading role in the global aid community. Its aid strategy is described in detail in the White Paper on International Development (1997), but can be summarized as follows: Instead of the Bank’s approach of imposing conditionality on aid and forcing necessary reforms for development, the Bank’s strategy is to provide aid to countries that are committed to growth and poverty reduction objectives and whose policy implementation capacity is appropriate. Instead, the Bank treats the donor country as a full-fledged partner when it is committed to the objectives of growth and poverty reduction and its policy implementation capacity is deemed adequate. This is the same British style as the former colonial rule, which was based on the French policy of assimilation and direct rule, and the indirect rule, which left most of the work to the natives.

This is the same British style as the former colonial rule, which was based on the French policy of assimilation and direct rule. DFID’s latest development scenario for Africa is that of a multi-party, changeable government. DFID’s latest development scenario for Africa is based on the key assumption that Western-style democracy will grow so that multiple political parties will be able to compete in elections in a way that allows for alternation of power. Only when democracy is nurtured can policy making become more independent and effective, and difficult economic and social structural problems can be solved. However, no country has yet succeeded in this scenario. The responsibilities that Japan, as an aid powerhouse, must assume are detailed in the Japanese government’s 2007 White Paper on Development Assistance (“Japan’s International Cooperation”) as a challenge for the transition period. Let us now consider the topic of cooperation with the British government, which has shown the above trend. I have been working with the British government for some time now, especially in relation to its support for the last development frontier in Africa, which Japan, as a major power, now has to face. One of the findings of my research on Africa, which has been focused on West Africa for some time now, is that the East Asian experience of improved education, a growing middle class, and political democratization driven by the demands of earlier development, albeit in the developmentalist tradition, can be compared with the unsuccessful and unsettled African scenario envisioned by DFID. The East Asian experience of improved education, middle class development, and political democratization as a result of prior development could serve as a basis for intercomparison and mutual learning with the unsuccessful African scenario envisioned by DFID. East Asian countries used to be major aid partners, but now that they are major powers, their role is to pass on their aid and development experiences to new development frontiers.

4. the Japanese helping style

Let’s move on to the third issue. I would like to refer to two types of Japanese styles of front-line aid that I have personally experienced and observed. One is a willingness to think together to find answers to the difficult problems faced by the recipient country, and the other is the unconscious discovery of Japanese “appropriate technology” and “management know-how” through the implementation of aid projects. The other is that through the implementation of aid projects, we are unknowingly discovering and spreading Japanese “appropriate technology” and “management know-how. First point. From 1995 to 2001, I participated as the chief of a Japanese academic group that advised on the planning and implementation of Vietnam’s Five-Year Development Plan.

When we held a joint meeting with the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning, inviting representatives of international development agencies that have offices in Vietnam, I was strongly impressed by their comments to the Vietnamese staff, which were like a sermon to a “lost sheep. We insisted on “Japan-Vietnam joint research” as the premise for our advice, and that the advice itself should be joint. It took a long time, but I think that trust and friendship were born from that. I was particularly impressed by the propagation of Japanese “appropriate technology” at the “Agricultural Machinery Lending Center” and the “Rice Farming Mechanization Center” (which was established in 1993 with Japanese grant aid in the Nile River Delta region of Egypt). This is when I visited the Agricultural Machinery Lending Center and the Rice Farming Mechanization Center (including project-based technical cooperation for the purpose of providing technical guidance for the operation of agricultural machinery, improvement of rice varieties, etc.), which were established under Japanese grant aid in the Nile River Delta. In both organizations, we were told that the practice of dismantling damaged or worn out machines, taking out the parts and structural components that are still usable, and reassembling them into new simplified machines for reuse has been mostly established in the repair and maintenance departments of agricultural machines. This is closely related to the agricultural mechanization education policy of the JICA Tsukuba International Agricultural Technology Center, where many of the field engineers trained in Japan are sent. In their agricultural mechanization design course, they used Japanese small farm machinery as a model and adapted and improved it to take into account the national and socioeconomic conditions of their home countries. The style of activities and propagated Japanese practices of the Japanese working at the forefront of such aid are a reflection of the role of Japan at the macro level.

I hope that these styles of activities and propagated Japanese practices of the Japanese working on the front lines of aid will remain intact even if Japan’s role at the macro level changes as it becomes a major power.

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