This study explores the integration process of the Japanese ODA policy-making system applying the Advocacy Coalition Framework(ACF). It examines the ODA policy change process from the late 1990s to 2008. The analysis is separated into three periods: before integration, during the integration process, and after integration. Data sources include Japanese documents and qualitative interviews.
We found that the policy process was framed by two coalitions advocating different belief systems. These coalitions were influenced by prolonged economic stagnation, negative public opinion on ODA, and administrative reforms by Koizumi Junichiro. In the first stage, the coalition which supported integration included Koizumi Junichiro’s cabinet, civil society, some members of JICA and JBIC, and some members of Congress. The opposing coalition was formed by the Ministry of Foreign Policy, the Ministry of Finance, business groups, and the majority of Congressional members and JICA and JBIC staff members. However, some members of the opposition changed their stance during the second stage. The Ministry of Foreign Policy, most of the JICA staffs, some business groups, and several members of Congress changed their positions and became a part of the coalition supporting integration. Coalition members’ used influencing resources consisted of public opinion, information, supporters, and skillfulleadership. After the fragmented Japanese ODA policy-making system was integrated to the new JICA in 2008, there were several positive impacts on the ODA policy-making system; ODA effectiveness had increased and staff members who had differing beliefs for Japan’s ODA system came to understand and agree with one another. This Japanese case provides helpful insight for Korean ODA policy-making due to similarities between the two processes.