SGRA Kawaraban (Essay) in English
Kim Woonghee The 15th Japan-Korea Asia Future Forum “International Development Between Japan and Korea, Hereafter”
The 15th Japan-Korea Asia Future Forum was held at the Tokyo International Forum on February 13 (Sat.) 2016, (the second consecutive year in Tokyo) under the theme “International cooperation hereafter for development of Japan and Korea：Group for Co-evolution in Architecture”.
We have an awareness of the issues how Japan, as a front runner in the field of ODA (Official Development Assistance) and Korea which has some experience in the field of development, contribute to sustainable development in East Asia and its regional cooperation. We can deeply consider about the concept of international politics and economy of ODA in which the institutions and interest of Japan and Korea are mingled.
Following the opening address by Professor Li Jingyu, the chairman of the board of director of the Center for Future Human Resource Studies, keynote speeches by both Japan and Korea were made. This time, we introduced new attempt, proposed by Professor Fukagawa, that researchers of Japan and Korea report alternately. Firstly, Professor Song Hyokusan of Kyung Hee Unversity、introduced Korean viewpoints on Japanese ODA. He discussed the similarities and differences between of ODA by Japan and Korea through his systematic summing up of the results of analysis and points by Korea researchers who reported in the papers about the ODA by Japan. He argued mainly on the objective and motive of the Japanese ODA, background of establishment of the new JICA which is an executing organization, details and changes of scale and projects of ODA and participation of citizens. Especially he insisted that Japan is a textbook for Korea in the field of ODA, and the “Japan Model” should not be criticized.
Professor Yukiko Hukagawa, Waseda University, Institute for Research in Contemporary Political and Economic Affairs, urged that Japan, as a smart donor, should lead economic development and poverty reduction in the international societies. And it is an important key, in the stream of economic aid, to cooperate with Korea which is closely sharing the experience in the development of industries in East Asia. She said that it is the same in Korea. Under such awareness of the issues, she introduced how such experience is reflected in the Korean ODA and discussed the example, Saemaul Undong as a Movement and KSP as a Knowledge Sharing Program. She explained how the inclination of sharing experience relates with the preparation for an ODA system in Korea. As a conclusion, as Japan has similar experiences with Korea in industrialization both countries complement each other in advantage and weakness, this relationship it will be a big advantage for Japan, which is aiming to be a smart donor, to cooperate with the Korean ODA. She emphasized that it is essential for Japan to fully understand the details of the economic development of Korea and the characteristics of Korea as an ODA grant country. At the same time, it is essential for Korea to have a conversation for it to fully understand the benefit of segregation and cooperation strategically.
After the coffee break, Professor Hitoshi Hirakawa made short speech titled “Looking Back over ODA in Japan” as a basis for discussion. He said that self-recognition of the “Japanese ODA model, as a successful experience” became stronger because Asia made economic development in the 21stcentury. And, he added that it will be necessary for us to shift to a well-balanced “theory for aid” through re-evaluation of practices of the people who have actually been involved in traditional aid activities.
Dr. Ferdinand Maquito, lecturer at the Temple University, Japan, reported briefly from the viewpoint of “partner countries” (recipient countries). According to him, ODA from Japan and the West are a little different. One of the reasons for such difference comes from the different of experiences of development of the donor countries themselves. As in the case of the ODA by Japan, he pointed out of uniqueness of development financing which was made domestically in Japan. This is a shared-growth type of ODA with a distinctive feature of Japan’s experience for development.. He explained, through an example in the Philippines, meaning or question in applying to policies for ODA for economic development model.
After such speeches, Professor Tetsushi Sonobe from the National Graduate Institute for Policy, Mr. Kouki Hirota, JICA Chief Economist and Emeritus Professor, Chang Hyonsik, Seoul University, postgraduate school for public policy（former Director for Planning and Strategy、KOICA）had a lively discussion. The discussion went further, not only just the comparison of difference of the ODA of Japan and Korea, they also talked about the possibilities of building up a new ODA as a “Model of East Asia” evolving and cooperating together based on their standpoints and specialties. It was a wonderful discussion of their own dreams.
I think, as I mentioned at the forum last year that, in order to make the “Japan-Korea Asia Future Forum” more fruitful hereafter, on the subject “an issue between Japan and Korea in the post-developing period and cooperation in East Asia”, we have to deeply investigate a more concrete subject, and not limit to general discussion.
We will take up ODA issue for three more years from now, and we like to proceed more carefully at the next forum, watching for a presence of China in the field of international development.
I like to express my deep appreciation for Ms. Junko Imanishi, Director of SGRA , Mr. Li Jingyu and all the staff members of SGRA for their support to this 15th Forum.
Please access the following for the photos of this forum.
(Professor/Inha University, Korea)
Translated by Kazuo Kawamura
English checked by Max Maquito