Following Tsunami, Asian Countries Fear Delay, Drop in Japan Aid

A scene in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that hit northern Japan on March 11. Officials in the Philippines, Indonesia and India have expressed concerns that projects financed by Japan may be rescheduled or dropped as the donor country tries to cope with the destruction caused by the disaster. Photo by: Douglas Sprott

Officials in the Philippines, Indonesia and India have expressed concerns that projects financed by Japan may be rescheduled or dropped as the donor country tries to cope with the destruction caused by March 11’s earthquake and tsunami.

The economic impact of the disaster and the escalating nuclear crisis in Japan is yet to be known, but fears are increasing that the country’s economy may go into recession, the Guardian says. Japan, the world’s third-largest economy and fifth-largest donor, has been struggling with domestic economic uncertainties even before the earthquake.

Officials from Asian countries receiving aid from Japan are worried that the demand and cost of post-tsunami reconstruction could mean less budget for Japan’s overseas development projects.

“The ODA [official development assistance] from Japan will be affected because they will be using their own money for reconstruction. Our development projects will also slow down and our export to Japan will also be affected,” the Guardian quotes Juan Ponce Enrile, president of the Philippine Senate.

Officials from Indonesia and India have aired similar concerns that Japan may reschedule its investments in their countries.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.