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Japan’s ODA Loans for Education: Cooperation for Self-Reliant Development Through Human Resource Development and Promotion of Multilayered Mutual Exchange

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Japan’s International Cooperation in Education

Part of the book series: Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects ((EDAP,volume 63))

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From 1977 to 2015, the Government of Japan provided Official Development Assistance (ODA) loans to the education and human resource development sector totaling US$5.6 billion (600 billion Japanese Yen). This was disbursed in the funding of 88 projects, mainly targeting the Asian region. ODA loans constitute one of Japan’s major bilateral ODA schemes, enabling partner countries to utilize the funds for their socioeconomic development and take advantage of concessional borrowing conditions. This chapter discusses the historical trends, theoretical basis, and significance of Japan’s ODA loans. By classifying all 88 projects into five categories based on the purpose of the project and details of inputs, and by analyzing the flagship projects of each category, this chapter concludes that Japan’s ODA loans have contributed to its overall ODA in the following three ways: (1) establishment of Centers of Excellence in partner countries, (2) multilayered acceleration and deepening of bilateral relationships, and (3) improvement of policies and institutions nationwide. This chapter also discusses policy implications for the self-reliant development of partner countries and deepening of bilateral relationships based on the lessons learned through project implementation.

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  1. 1.

    The Japanese fiscal year starts in April and ends in March.

  2. 2.

    Since the 2000s, there has been an increase in ODA loan projects related to infrastructure exports based on the policy of the Government of Japan to promote quality growth. This is considered to have contributed to the gradual increase in the rate of tied conditions.

  3. 3.

    According to the JICA annual reports, the total amount of cooperation provided through Japan’s ODA loans in the education sector was 546.2 billion yen through 84 loans until the end of FY 2015. The figures shown in this chapter include projects that were recorded in other sectors, such as the enhancement of administrative functions and other social services.

  4. 4.

    Other fields covered by preferential terms are environment and climate change, health and medical care, and disaster prevention.

  5. 5.

    The name of TEEP includes “Third” because it was positioned as the third phase of the series of elementary education development projects provided by the World Bank. The Elementary Education Project, for which Japan’s ODA loans were committed in 1991 through cofinancing with the World Bank, was positioned as the second phase. The World Bank also had an earlier project, as a single-donor financing project, with the Government of the Philippines.

  6. 6.

    Prioritized policy under the then Ramos government, which aimed at the development of the economy and society in deprived areas to rectify domestic disparities.

  7. 7.

    Parents, Teachers, and Communities Association. It features the addition of C (Communities) to the PTA (Parent Teacher Association), which is common in Japan.


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Kimura, I. (2022). Japan’s ODA Loans for Education: Cooperation for Self-Reliant Development Through Human Resource Development and Promotion of Multilayered Mutual Exchange. In: Kayashima, N., Kuroda, K., Kitamura, Y. (eds) Japan’s International Cooperation in Education. Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects, vol 63. Springer, Singapore.

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