Japan—Commitment to Development Index

The Commitment to Development Index ranks 27 of the world’s richest countries on policies that affect people living in poorer nations. This is the country report for Japan. For results of all countries, visit the main CDI page.

Overall

Japan ranks 26th on the Commitment to Development Index 2016. It scores best in technology.
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Aid

Japan scores average on aid. In 2014, it provided 0.19% of its GNI for development assistance. This is below the international commitment of 0.7% GNI, and below average of the CDI countries. However, Japan is rewarded for good aid predictability and for having a high share of country-programmable aid. Japan’s contributions could be improved by providing more aid to poor countries and multilateral institutions.
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Finance

Japan ranks less well on the finance component despite its good score on the international investment agreements, accounting for the sustainable development goals of the developing countries it places its investments. Japan could strengthen its institutional commitments to the OECD guidelines on multinational companies. Also, Japan’s performance on facilitating financial transparency ranks below average, with room for improvement on a range of policies including public company ownership and country-by-country reporting.
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Technology

Japan performs in the top 10 of the technology component. In 2014 the government provided 0.73% of Japan’s GDP for research and development (R&D) while also providing incentives for business R&D activities. Japan has less stringent intellectual property rights policies than other CDI countries, with room for improvement in the areas of patents on software and plant and animal varieties.
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Environment

Japan performs less well on the environment component. Japan is party to important international agreements tackling climate change and overfishing, and it is also rewarded for low fossil fuel production. On the other hand, it has the highest tropical timber imports per capita of all CDI countries. It could make its policies more development friendly by increasing its gasoline taxes and increase the rate of its reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Japan also performs poorly on its monitoring and reporting to biodiversity conventions.
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Trade

Japan ranks 25th on trade, despite its openness to trade in services and only imposing average impediments to imports. Japan has among the highest tariffs and quotas on imports from developing countries, only South Korea has even higher tariffs and quotas. Japan imposes especially high tariffs on rice and wheat.
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Security

Japan performs below average on security. Even though Japan is party to all international security agreements considered in the CDI and does not export arms to undemocratic countries, it provides only limited contributions to international peacekeeping efforts.
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Migration

Japan ranks 23rd on migration policy. Japan is not party to any international migration conventions which are part of this index. It could also significantly enhance its development efforts by implementing more migrant friendly integration policies and by opening its borders to migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees. However, Japan is rewarded for accepting students from developing countries.
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