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There has been a substantial change in Japan’s foreign policy position on democracy support. Its 1992 Official Development Assistance (ODA) Charter committed the country to provide foreign aid in a manner that promotes democracy abroad (Ministry of Foreign Affairs [Japan], 1992). The second Abe administration, which came to power in December 2012, has taken Japan’s policy of democracy support a step further. The 2012 ODA white paper, which was released in March 2013, not only expressed Japan’s intention to strengthen democracy abroad but also prioritized it above the traditional issues of focus of Japanese foreign aid such as human security and hard infrastructure assistance. In Myanmar, Japan has a vital interest in nurturing friendly relations to increase its political and economic clout in the country. After the liberalization process began in 2011, Japan resumed its official development assistance towards Myanmar with a prospect to set its foot firmly in the country rich of natural resources. While Japan is trying to provide aid to Myanmar in a manner that promotes democracy, there are both positive responses as well as deprecation on the effectiveness of the aid from local people because of its inefficacious development approach in both urban and ethnic areas. This article will present empirical research finding about aid effectiveness of Japanese ODA.
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