Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 04/2013

Understanding Japanese Democracy Assistance

Maiko Ichihara

March 2013

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


Despite being Asia’s most prosperous democracy and one of the world’s largest aid providers, Japan has a strikingly low profile in the field of international democracy assistance. Japan directs most of its democracy-related assistance to technocratic top-down governance programming, placing a low emphasis on civil society assistance. The reasons behind this choice stem from Japan’s history and its views of development.