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Masatsugu Asakawa

Masatsugu Asakawa is the President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Chairperson of ADB’s Board of Directors. He was elected President by ADB’s Board of Governors and assumed office on 17 January 2020.

24 November 2021 President Asakawa describes his vision at the first High-Level Regional Tax Conference

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 24 November 2021 asserted, in his keynote address at the first High-Level Regional Tax Conference, that we all have a duty to future generations to ensure they are not left with unsustainable debt burdens, that we do not leave societies torn apart by inequality, and a planet ravaged by climate change. He also emphasized that the key to a green, inclusive, and resilient recovery lies with domestic resource mobilization and international tax cooperation. Representing Asia Pacific Tax Hub’s key development partner institutions, IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department Director Vitor Gaspar, World Bank’s Vice President for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions Indermit Gill, and the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration Director Pascal Saint-Amans further elaborated on the key components of a viable strategy to realize President Asakawa's vision. Read the news release.

22 November 2021 President Asakawa opens first ADB Gender Forum

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 22 November 2021 opened the first ADB Gender Forum The Power to Transform: Gender Equality in Asia and the Pacific. In his remarks, the President emphasized that countries must view gender equality as central to social and economic development, and create a “new and inclusive normal” to remain competitive and resilient. President Asakawa underscored ADB’s commitment to proactively mainstream gender equality across all aspects of ADB operations.

19 November 2021 President Asakawa meets with Islamic Development Bank President

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 19 November 2021 met with Islamic Development Bank President Muhammad Sulaiman Al Jasser. They discussed COVID-19 response, Afghanistan, climate finance actions, and cofinancing operations in common developing member countries. President Asakawa expressed appreciation for ADB's long and successful partnership with IsDB. 

17 November 2021 20th CAREC Ministerial Conference marks new health, digital approaches to regional integration

President Masatsugu Asakawa joined CAREC ministers at the 20th CAREC Ministerial Conference held virtually on 17 November 2021. In his keynote address, President Asakawa reiterated ADB’s support to CAREC member countries amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and emphasized the need to strengthen regional cooperation through digitalization in order to recover and build resilience against future crises. The CAREC ministers reaffirmed their commitment to regional cooperation. They also endorsed the CAREC Health Strategy 2030 and the CAREC Digital Strategy 2030, which are crucial to safeguard regional health security and strengthen digital connectivity. Read the news release

17 November 2021 President Asakawa discusses international tax cooperation at Global Forum Plenary

President Masatsugu Asakawa, on 17 November 2021, participated in a panel discussion at the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information Plenary. He discussed the priorities and experiences of Asia and Pacific jurisdictions in the fight against illicit financial flows and how tax transparency is instrumental for domestic resource mobilization. The President also presented the Asia Pacific Tax Hub’s role in promoting international tax cooperation and ADB’s support to the newly announced Global Forum-led Asia Initiative. 

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Masatsugu Asakawa is the President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Chairperson of ADB’s Board of Directors. He was elected President by ADB’s Board of Governors and assumed office on 17 January 2020.

Prior to joining ADB, he served as Special Advisor to Japan’s Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, and has a close-to-four decades’ career at the Ministry of Finance with diverse professional experience that cuts across both domestic and international fronts.

In the immediate aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis, Mr. Asakawa, in his capacity as Executive Assistant to Prime Minister Taro Aso, took part in the first G20 Leaders’ Summit Meeting in November 2008. He was instrumental in orchestrating a globally coordinated financial package to abate the financial crisis, including a $100 billion loan from Japan to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Then in 2016, in his capacity as Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs, he took on a leading role for the G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ meeting in Sendai under the Japanese presidency, where a sustainable and inclusive development agenda was extensively discussed.

Most recently, he served as Finance Deputy for the G20 meetings under the Japanese presidency, playing a pivotal role for the success of the G20 Osaka Summit as well as the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ meeting in Fukuoka. Some of his outstanding achievements in Osaka include the endorsement by the G20 Leaders of the “G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment” and the “G20 Shared Understanding on the Importance of UHC Financing in Developing Countries”. Before these, he had occupied various prominent positions within the Finance Ministry, including director positions in charge of development policy issues, foreign exchange markets, and international tax policy.

Mr. Asakawa’s professional experience extends beyond the realms of the Japanese government. Most notably, he served as Chief Advisor to ADB President Kimimasa Tarumizu between 1989 and 1992, during which time he spearheaded the creation of a new office focused on strategic planning. Also, he had frequent engagement with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in such positions as Chair for Committee on Fiscal Affairs (2011–2016). Furthermore, he was a senior staff at the Fiscal Affairs Department of the IMF (1996–2000). In the meantime, he gave lectures as Visiting Professor at the Graduate School of Economic Science, Saitama University (2006–2009), and at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo (2012–2015).

Mr. Asakawa obtained his BA from University of Tokyo (Economics Faculty) in 1981, and MPA from Princeton University, USA, in 1985.