Aid Transparency Analysis for Japan

UPDATE: For 2013 Aid Transparency Index scores, please see here.

The 2011 Pilot Index assessed the transparency of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The 2012 Index also assesses the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), in recognition of its important role in Japan’s development assistance. Profiles for each organisation are provided on the next page.

Japan has not signed IATI but has attended IATI Steering Committee meetings as an observer. It has committed to implement the Busan common standard, which includes all IATI information fields and the XML format. As part of the common standard agreement in June 2012, Japan has committed to producing an implementation schedule by December 2012. Japan has not joined OGP.

In July 2012 the Prime Minister launched an “open data strategy for electronic administration” to improve the transparency and credibility of administration and “to promote the utilisation of such data in future”. Implementation is being overseen by the Cabinet Secretariat with details being currently being worked out with input from ministers and experts.

Japan should produce an implementation schedule for the Busan common standard by December 2012, including ambitious commitments to publish the IATI elements of the standard and in the IATI XML format.

Japan should also consider signing IATI to demonstrate a commitment to transparency. Closer engagement with IATI will ensure that the Japanese aid system is best reflected in the IATI standard as it continues to develop.
Joining OGP would be an opportunity to share best practice in open data and open government approaches with other bilateral donors and with partners who receive Japanese aid.