2021 年 30 巻 1 号 p. 33-47
In 2015, the Development Cooperation Charter, which clearly stated “ensuring Japan's national interests” as part of the “objectives of development cooperation,” was decided by Japan's Cabinet. This charter triggered debates on what the purpose of development cooperation policy should be and why “ensuring Japan's national interests” was specified. What these studies revealed was a synchronic link-age with the policies undertaken by the Abe administration at the time, which meant that the social norms of altruism, that development cooperation policies should be implemented for the welfare of others, had already faded.
When and how did the social norms of altruism weaken with regard to Japan's development cooperation policy? In this paper, I examine the period from the 1970s to the early 2000s, in order to clarify the process of normative transition from altruism to self-interest through historical discourse analysis. Altruism here is defined as a social norm constructed by discourses that emphasize the humanitarian aspects of aid, positioning development cooperation policies as a means to fulfill international “responsibilities” and “contributions.” Self-interest, on the other hand, is defined as a social norm constructed by discourses that encourages “Japan's visible assistance” based on “national interests ”and“ strategy.”
This analysis mainly revealed that (1) as early as the 1980s, the slump in plant exports triggered the Japan Business Federation to ask the Japanese government for“Japan's visible assistance ”based on “national interests” and “strategies,” (2) around the mid-1990s, fiscal retrenchment and the securitization of Northeast Asia led to the spread of self-interest social norm in Japanese society. These results reveal that the foregrounding of self-interest was a process of re-enforcing the linkage between development cooperation policies and domestic economic conditions, which in turn suggests the contemporary question of whether there is any alternative form of linkage between development cooperation policies and domestic conditions.