Hiroshima Peace Science Volume 9
1986 発行


A study on ideas of external aid
Kurino, Ohtori
The Japanese public at large became almost suddenly aware of the dubious aspects of the external aid which the Japanese government has been offering to the developing countries, in very recent years. But, since at least several years ago there were in Japan some journalists and researchers of international relations who have noticed even potential implications of Japan's external aid, especially so-called official development assistance (ODA), which would not only doubtful in their effectiveness as such but also detrimental for the true development of the recipient countries, at least from the point of view of the people in the lower echelon of the society. Indeed the Japanese government officials in charge of external aid have been expressing the ideas of 'economic cooperation' or external aid, since early 1980s; they have stressed that the main ideas should be 'humanitarian considerations' and '(the spirit of) interdependency (of 'North' and 'South')'. But, since the time when Japan was carrying out the war reparations until the recent ODA, Japan has rather been utilizing most of such external aid for the promotion of its international trade and investments, and more recently for the national interests even including so-called strategic purposes, either on its own intention or upon request of its military ally. Such facts would give above-mentioned ideas the characteristics of mere ideological allegations or smoke-screen. Among the public a group of researchers (PARC group) has been most critical of the aid policies of the government, on the basis of its findings as the result of its studies of economic and social realities of the countries of ASEAN or Asia, while a new type of citizens movement is emerging in Japan, which tries to make a thorough review of Japan's external aid and to offer some alternatives. The author of this article believes that 'Peace Principle of the Constitution of Japan' (Hiroshima Peace Science, 7, 1984) could serve as the basis of the ideas of Japan's external aid, provided that the