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(From The Yomiuri Shimbun/Daily Yomiuri)
MATTERS OF OPINION / Should Japan curtail ODA spending?
Does it pay to be a good Samaritan in the global village?
The nation's ongoing economic crisis has renewed controversy about the massive amounts Japan spends on official development assistance. The public is also increasingly skeptical about Japan's ODA, particularly in the wake of an ODA scandal involving arrested lawmaker Muneo Suzuki.
In the first installment of "Matters of Opinion," Ichita Yamamoto of the Liberal Democratic Party and Seiji Maehara of the leading opposition party Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan), speak their minds in separate interviews addressing the question "Should Japan significantly reduce its official development assistance?"
Bone of contention
Maehara, 40, a House of Representatives member and national security minister in Minshuto's shadow cabinet, takes an affirmative position on the proposition, insisting on making ODA expenditures smaller, but more strategic. Minshuto has called for a significant cut in ODA. Maehara's argument is rebutted by Yamamoto, 45, a House of Councillors member and a former staff member of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, who asserts that advantages gained from Japan's ODA outweigh its disadvantages.
Interview with Maehara
What is the motive behind Minshuto's call for a large reduction in ODA as part of the budget's structural reform?
Maehara: Japan's ODA should be more strategic. For years, Japan has used simplified …