The inaugural meeting of the senior-level U.S.-Japan Development Dialogue convened on Thursday, February 20, 2014, in Washington, D.C. The Dialogue is the result of our joint goal to maximize the effectiveness of our overseas development assistance in promoting peace, stability, and economic growth regionally and globally, as explained in the Fact Sheet on United States-Japan Global Cooperation: Meeting Modern Challenges, released during Vice President Joseph Biden’s travel to Japan in December 2013.
Given the close security, economic, and other ties between the United States and Japan, it is natural that we expand further our global partnership through increased development assistance cooperation. The United States and Japan have been closely united on issues of alleviating human suffering by ending extreme poverty, increasing economic opportunities and enabling resilient, democratic societies. Our financial commitment to development assistance reflects these values, as combined are providing roughly 40% of the world’s Official Development Assistance (ODA). As we celebrate Japan’s 60 years as a donor nation and look to the future, we see tremendous opportunity to continue driving progress together.
During this first meeting of the Development Dialogue, the United States and Japan discussed deepening our bilateral development assistance cooperation on a wide range of development challenges, including women’s economic empowerment and security, disaster risk reduction, and regional cooperation in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Both sides agreed to further coordinate policy priorities, pursue concrete proposals for cooperation, and continue bilateral discussion of future engagement opportunities in a variety of fora. This dialogue will help in shaping new and better ideas for our joint collaboration, and help us to identify how to best utilize our collective commitment and capabilities to deliver development results for our partners.
The U.S. Department of State’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs James Zumwalt, and U.S. Agency for International Development’s Deputy Assistant Administrator for Policy, Planning, and Learning Tony Pipa represented the United States at the meeting, along with Ambassador at large for Global Women’s Issues Catherine Russell and USAID Chief Strategy Officer Carla Koppell. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy Director General for International Cooperation Mitsuhiro Wada, and Japan International Cooperation Agency Director General for Operations Strategy Koki Hirota represented Japan. Both sides agreed to hold the next meeting of the Development Dialogue at a mutually convenient time within the next year.