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Statement by Finance Minister ASO Taro on Nomination of Candidate for ADB Presidency

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September 18, 2019

Statement by Mr. ASO Taro, Minister of Finance, Japan


  1. Mr. NAKAO Takehiko, the incumbent President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), expressed his intention to resign effective as of January 16, 2020.

  2. Japan will nominate Mr. ASAKAWA Masatsugu, currently in the position of Special Advisor to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance, as the most qualified candidate to succeed Mr. Nakao as President of ADB. Having served as Executive Assistant to the then Prime Minister Aso and across a number of areas within the Ministry of Finance, including as Director-General of the International Bureau and Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs, Mr. Asakawa played an instrumental role to the success of the G20 under the Japanese presidency. In addition, Mr. Asakawa has had working experiences with international organizations, firstly as Chief Advisor to President at ADB in his early years, and secondly at the International Monetary Fund. Furthermore, as the first Chair for OECD Committee on Fiscal Affairs from Asia, Mr. Asakawa spearheaded the BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) project successfully. All this has allowed him to garner extensive experiences in such areas as international finance, development and taxation. During his long service at the Ministry, Mr. Asakawa has fostered close relationships with the authorities of countries in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond, as well as with the senior management of various International Organizations.

  3. As per conventions of the international community, heads of international institutions should be elected on an open, transparent and merit basis. In this regard, I will seek strong support from all ADB member countries for Mr. Asakawa’s candidacy for President of the ADB.