JAPAN'S OFFICIAL DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE TOWARDS MYANMAR: THE ROLE OF THE STRATEGIC USE OF JAPANESE AID IN INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT
Keywords:Japan, Myanmar, Official Development Assistance (ODA), Strategic Aid
Official Development Assistance is one of the fundamental requirements for a developing country. Myanmar has received ODA from Japan since 1955, but Japan stopped its ODA loans in 1988, following the instruction of the United States because of the military's human rights abuse and ignorance of election results. At that time, China became a major supporter in Myanmar. Therefore, Japan has strategically used its ODA to maintain the relationship and reduce Chinese influence in Myanmar. Japan deploys ODA strategically as a diplomatic tool by sharing common values. Japan's official policy towards Myanmar is to progress democratization, improve human rights and ensure peace and prosperity through economic and social development. Japan and Myanmar have reached an agreement on a formal bilateral partnership based on Japan's economic and technical cooperation assistance. The great cooperation between Japan and Myanmar has led to great economic, social, and technological development achievements. To this day, Myanmar always welcomes Japanese assistance. However, good results for Japan's strategic policies have not been coming out in Myanmar, and a formal agreement as a strategic partnership has not been reached regarding Japan's strategic ODA. It shows that Japan's strategic ODA is not working well in Myanmar compared to the ordinary ODA. Therefore, this paper examines why Japan's strategic assistance does not work well for Myanmar's infrastructure development.