Journal of International Development Studies
Online ISSN : 2434-5296
Print ISSN : 1342-3045
Significance and Challenges of “The Ishikawa Project”: A Practitioner's Perspective Based on the Experience of Japan-Ethiopia Industrial Policy Dialogue
Izumi OHNO
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2018 Volume 27 Issue 1 Pages 63-76


This paper provides a practitioner's perspective of the significance and challenges of “The Ishikawa Project”(formally, “The Joint Vietnamese-Japanese Research Project: Study on the Economic Development Policy in the Transition toward a Market-Oriented Economy in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam”), based on the author's experience with the ongoing Japan-Ethiopia industrial policy dialogue (formally, “Policy Dialogue on Industrial Development in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia”). It also draws implications for Japanese intellectual cooperation from a comparative analysis of South Korea's Knowledge Sharing Program(KSP).

Shigeru Ishikawa made valuable academic contributions to enhancing the theory of development economics and establishing a policy system for international development cooperation from a Japanese perspective. But, these are only part of his achievements. He should be also remembered as leader of “The Ishikawa Project” supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency(JICA)during 1995-2001, especially for his effort to demonstrate a Japanese model of intellectual cooperation to developing countries.

Inspired by “The Ishikawa Project,” JICA has become more engaged in development policy support to Asian countries. In Africa, bilateral industrial policy dialogue with Ethiopia has been conducted by JICA and the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies(GRIPS)since 2009. It aims at sharing the East Asian development experiences with Ethiopian leaders and policymakers and providing intellectual inputs to their industrial policy formulation and implementation.

In embarking the Japan-Ethiopia industrial policy dialogue, the GRIPS team consciously examined the significance and challenges of “The Ishikawa Project,” including the basic stance to be succeeded and the issues for further refinement. This paper clarifies these points and suggests the direction for enhancing Japanese intellectual cooperation. It is essential to maintain the basic stance of “The Ishikawa Project,” such as a perspective of long-term development, real-sector concern, and joint work. At the same time, it is important to give attention to a pioneering effort by the Japan-Ethiopia industrial policy dialogue to address the challenges of a patrimonial state in Africa and build the government's policy capability. The strengths and weaknesses of Japanese intellectual cooperation should be also studied to enhance its effectiveness.

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© 2018 The Japan Society for International Development
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