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Do you think Japan should cut back its ODA commitments to other countries and allocate the money instead to earthquake and tsunami relief efforts in the Tohoku region?

15 Comments

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15 Comments
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Is this a trick question?

Here's a "trick" answer:

No, they should continue donating to everyone, everywhere, for anything, and start mandated benevolence; taxing the snot out of its own citizens and legal residents, to pick up the slack for Japan Inc.'s generosity...

Duh.

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A lot of these ODA's are loans with low interest. Often, they get paid back. Other times they get lost though. Sometimes ODA's are grants that allow public work projects and ensure a seat for Japanese companies to work there. These won't stop.

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Yes, Japan should stop and take care of its own house first.

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No. Japan can afford to cover Tohoku. Do the math, it's simple. Japan's GDP 4 trillion dollars. The cost of the earthquake, 100-150 billion dollars.

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A lot - a real lot - of the ODA are contracts to purchase Japanese goods or services (perhaps at a slightly lower rate).

One of the major benefactors of Japanese overseas development 'loans' is Japanese companies. If they cut back, more Japanese will be in danger of losing their jobs or a cut in income.

Taking care of their own house first includes making sure citizens have jobs.

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Yes. Lunchbox, govt. borrowing in Japan already over 200% of GCP. do they need to borrow more? Why send money to countries where frequently large portions of ODA are siphoned off by corrupt governments or wasted on vanity projexts....

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@borscht: Surely you are not saying that Japanese government is giving bribes for Japanese services to be purchased abroad.

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The answer is “Do both”. “Giving” in itself has a direct positive effect on one’s well being, in this case on the well being of the nation of Japan. The literature is out there on this mysterious process of “Giving”. Also, absolutely, help the quake victims, Give. It’s a win, win.

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ODA has been known for years to be marketing and promotion expenses for Japanese services and products. We'll help you, as long as you buy these items from Toshiba, Hitachi, Mitsubishi or whoever, and we'll provide you with research grants, consultant fees, expenses, etc.. JICA had some influence in medical products and services, bringing physicians from developing countries to Japan, getting pharma companies to educate them, wine and dine them, and when they return back home, reminding them of who paid for their education. Quite sophisticated - classic giri-ninjou!

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Japan is not forcing any country to accept the ODA. Japan is givnig their money to other countries for a small interest and some time as a grant. They are not asking any security for it. If they want to promote their product then they can do many other ways buy giving subsidies to export. But with out much problem Japanese products are sold very well in those poor countries. Japanese people has a debt of 100 trillion. And still they are collecting Tax to donate to other countries. Japan can pay a small amount as a gift to the top politicians and they can sell all their products and they can buy their votes. No need to do such a complicated, expensive ODA drama to do it. Now Japanese people need money. Once Japanese people are able to breath again then all those countries will get more ODA.

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These are your Bothers-Sisters...Mothers-Fathers...Aunts-Uncles...in other words "They are your Family" and deserve your full attention. Your intentions are Honorable yet "Family comes First".

Focus on the most pressing issue at hand!!

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The commitments seem to match, as I just looked at them, what a few people mentioned above. Most are not out and out charity, but are low interest loans, some of which is meant to pay for needed infrastructure or equipment, usually Japanese equipment. The loans solve a financial problem for certain countries or regions now in return for future business for Japan.

The issue is not so simple, and neither are the arrangements, but the ODA should not be analysed to say that Japan should stop giving charity and take care of its own folks. Fishing for future business in a positive way IS a way to take care of one's own folks, and it would be good if more countries would do this kind of long-range planning.

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Without a question. We're all going to be expected to pay more for our utilities because we're so skint, and you can bet your boots we'll be taxed to the rafters with the disaster as an excuse (although our leaders will continue to find ways to spend the revenue to nobody's benefit but their own). If we need to leech more revenue, we haven't got enough. Thus we can't afford to throw it away buying Daimlers for dictators any more.

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No problem! The taxpayer will cover it as they always do>

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ODA should disappear, Tohoku rebuilding or not, because the system is getting old. That was a good thing at some point. Over the years, it has been abused by corruption and whatever unrightful political manipulations in many countries. I'm really tired of hearing the Chinese and Koreans say "Japan did not pay for the war 3 generations ago nia nia nia...". So it's a good opportunity to close the door and turn the page.

Then, in a few months, the current problems will be covered. That will be time to start other types of international development and solidarity programs involving Japan.

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