Among the many expectations that the world community holds for the new Japanese government is an increased commitment to development assistance and human security. Foreign aid from Tokyo has dropped dramatically over the past decade with Japan no longer the second largest donor country. ODA (overseas development assistance) in recent years has mainly been directed to international financial institutions.
Although not formally stated in its Manifesto or Diet presentation, the Hatoyama The new Administration is aware of that many perceive Japan's commitment to development sliding. Part of its effort to be a "trusted member" of the international community and to be a "bridge" serving the world, Hatoyama's government is a likely increase in ODA.
They will have plenty of data to help convince their colleagues that Japan needs to do more.
On October 22nd, the Washington-based Center for Global Development created by the Peterson Institute for International Economics and The Brookings Institution, released its annual Commitment to Development Index. It "ranks 22 of the world's richest countries on their dedication to policies that benefit the five billion people living in poorer nations. Moving beyond simple comparisons of foreign aid, the CDI ranks countries on seven themes: quantity and quality of foreign aid, openness to developing-country exports, policies that influence investment, migration policies, stewardship of the global environment, security policies and support for creation and dissemination of new technologies."
Sweden came in first for the 2009 index. Japan was ranked next to last, just before South Korea.